I do have a female primary partner with whom I'm not cohabating. Even through I'm mostly in quarantine and my partner is as well, I do want to minimze the risk of getting COVID-19.

Given that fever is frequent in most cases of COVID-19, I consider daily temperature measurement a good way to decide whether or not to see my partner. I likely want to use a relatively low value because I'm more afraid of false negatives then false positives.

For women the temperature fluctuates during the cycle and I haven't read much about that. How do I set a good cutoff for abnormal temperatures for a woman?

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Apr 09, 2020


Search for "basal body temperature centigrade" (I don't think you need to add female to the search but ...) Look at images and you'll get a lot of graphs.

Knowing when an increase in temp. would be expected for your partner is valuable information.

Daily tracking will show what's "normal" for an individual - using a consistent method to take temperature.

When tracking menstrual cycles it's recommended for a woman to take her temperature first thing in morning (Basal body temperature is the lowest temperature attained by the body which happens during sleep). Temp's don't go above 37.1C on the graphs I've looked at.


Apr 08, 2020


I’m not a doctor, but since public health authorities don’t recommend sex-specific temperature standards, why would you? The common cutoff for fever is 100.4 F, which allows margin for the ~1 degree fluctuation around “normal” that some women experience.

I agree with the other poster that some people have unusual “normal” temperatures—mine is around 97.5 when healthy—but that’s unlikely to help you since your partner probably doesn’t have baseline healthy temperature data.

The common cutoff for fever is 100.4 F,

That seems to be 38.0 C in proper units. There are Chinese COVID-19 testing protocols where 37.3 C is the cutoff.

since public health authorities don’t recommend sex-specific temperature standards, why would you?

Just because someone else is stupid, doesn't mean I have to be stupid as well. The 38 C standard comes out of a time where men where studied and it was just assumed that things will be the same for woman. For heart diesease there's a lot of research that suggests that woman show different... (read more)

Is there any reason to believe the Chinese COVID testing protocol you reference is better than the American consensus? Given that you don't have any special knowledge about body temperature, going with the consensus seems preferable. If you're too worried about COVID to go with the consensus, the safer option would be to go a few months without seeing your partner rather than convincing yourself you can personally do the research needed to achieve an unlikely level of certainty and precision about the temperature cutoff.
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Does she know her normal range? My wife's temperature fluctuates a full just-over-two-degrees, for a different reason, so we know when it's past "normal". We've simply resigned ourselves to losing "slight fever" as a useful indicator of anything at all. Technically there's slightly more information than that, but in practice fallibly trying to use it would produce more false positives than would be worth it.