Using the basal body temperature method to promote fertility doesn't pose any risks.

Likewise, using the basal body temperature method for birth control doesn't pose any direct risks, but it doesn't offer protection from sexually transmitted infections — and it's one of the least effective natural family planning methods. As many as 24 out of 100 women who use fertility awareness-based methods to prevent pregnancy — such as the basal body temperature method — for one year will get pregnant.

Using the basal body temperature along with another fertility awareness-based method for birth control requires motivation and diligence. If you don't want to conceive, you and your partner must avoid having sex or use a barrier method of contraception during your fertile days each month.

Keep in mind that your basal body temperature can be influenced by many factors, including:

  • Illness or fever
  • Stress
  • Shift work
  • Interrupted sleep cycles or oversleeping
  • Alcohol
  • Travel and time zone differences
  • Gynecologic disorders
  • Certain medications
  • Some women also ovulate without a clear rise in basal body temperature.
Oct. 25, 2014