Objective: To compare the results of a computer programme based on the Trigg's tracking system (TTS) identification of the basal body temperature (BBT) shift day from daily records of BBT values (TTS transition day), with the BBT shift day identified from the same records using the Sensiplan(®) symptothermal method of natural family planning.
Methods: A computer programme was written to display the daily BBT readings for 364 menstrual cycles from 51 women aged 24 to 35 years, obtained from the German Natural Family Planning (NFP) database. The TTS transition day so identified from each record was then compared with the BBT shift day estimated from the same record by the Sensiplan(®) method.
Results: Total agreement between the methods was obtained for 81% (294/364) of the cycles and 18% (67) cycles differed by ± 1 day. For the 364 pairs of values distributed among 51 women the medians of the differences between the TTS transition day and Sensiplan(®) initial day of the BBT rise (shift day) were not significantly different (χ(2) = 65.28, df = 50, p = 0.07205).
Conclusion: The advantages of the tracking signal algorithm are that in many cases it was possible to identify the BBT shift day on that very day - rather than only some days later - and to estimate the probability that a transition had occurred from the different values of the tracking signal.
Keywords: Basal body temperature changes; Ovulation; Sensiplan®; Symptothermal method; Trigg's tracking signal.