Although the generally accepted “normal” temperature reading is 36.6 ˚C, temperature readings can vary from 35.2 ˚C to 36.8 ˚C and will still be considered “normal”. Variations in temperature can be explained by such activities as exercise, physical activity, and consumption of food and beverages. Your temperature is lower in the morning than in the afternoon. Other variations may be related to the method of temperature measurement: axillary (taken in your armpit), oral (taken in your mouth) and rectal (taken in your rectum). If axillary temperature corresponds to the above characteristics, oral temperature is usually higher by 0.5 ˚C. And rectal temperature is higher by 1.0 ˚C.
Methods of measuring body temperature:
Axillary measurement: wipe the armpit with a dry towel and place the thermometer tip there. During temperature measurement, keep your hand tightly pressed to the body (armpit should be “closed”). The range of normal temperature measured in your armpit is 35.2-36.8 °C.
Oral measurement: place the thermometer tip under your tongue as close as possible to the bottom of the tongue (in the sublingual fold). Keep your mouth closed during temperature measurement. The range of normal temperature measured in your oral cavity is 35.7-37.3 ˚C.
Pay attention: Drinking hot or cold drinks, smoking, exercising or other activities can increase or lower your body temperature. Therefore, before taking measurement, it is important to relax for about 5 minutes with your mouth closed.
Rectal measurement: lubricate the thermometer tip with water-soluble hygienic lubricant; do not use petroleum jelly. Insert the tip of the thermometer into the rectum approximately 1 cm deep. The range of normal rectal temperature is 36.2-37.7 ˚C.
Body temperature measurement usually takes 1-3 minutes, but may take longer or significantly less time depending on the method and type of the used thermometer.
NOTE: According to the hygiene standards it is not recommended to use one and the same thermometer for rectal measurement and axillary or oral measurement. Avoid drinking hot or cold drinks, exercising, smoking or taking a bath or shower prior to taking measurement.