Charting Your Basal Body Temperature

A Precision Instrument

The female body is a precision instrument, and this is never more crucial than when you are trying to get pregnant. Many years of experience as a fertility acupuncturist tell me that small variations in operating temperature can often affect the chance of a successful outcome. For this reason, charting your basal body temperature or BBT (your body temperature at rest), is a critical fertility sign because it is the only sign that will tell you definitively that you ovulated. It also is the only sign that will let you pinpoint (to as close a degree as possible) when ovulation occurred. All your other signs tell you only that ovulation is approaching. Temperature charting was first identified in the 1930’s by supporters of the rhythm method of contraception.

charting your basal body temperature

Basal Body Temperature Variations Over The Month

After ovulation, the body produces progesterone. Progesterone causes an increase in your body temperature that is observable when you measure your BBT with a special BBT thermometer just upon waking in the morning.

Now take a look at the illustration.  An experienced eye would recognise that the temperature in the first half of the chart is too high and will observe that this person has ovulated early. Higher temperatures can often also lead to poorer egg quality. This is just one possible variation  seen in clinical practice, other examples include temperatures that may be too low or simply unstable.

By asking careful questions the skilled practitioner is able to uncover the reasons for this variation from the norm, and will be able to recommend an appropriate course of  treatment. Continued monitoring of the BBT chart allows for checking of treatment outcomes. It may also allow you to check the effects of lifestyle changes such as reducing stress.

In effect taking your daily temperature can be a useful tool in optimising your fertility. Are you ready to start charting your basal body temperature now?

 How To Take Your Basal Body Temperature

  • Take your temperature before rising in the morning as any activity can raise your BBT.

  • Take your temperature at the same time every morning (if this changes make a note of the time).

  • Take your temperature after at least 3 consecutive hours of sleep

  • Keep your thermometer accessible from your bed so you do not have to get
    up to get it.

  • Use the same thermometer throughout your cycle if possible.

  • Keep a spare thermometer in case one breaks (especially if you are using a glass thermometer).

  • Temperatures can be taken orally or vaginally but must be taken in the same place throughout the cycle since the temperatures of the different parts may vary. Most women prefer to take their temperatures orally and this is usually fine, though some women find that they get a clearer reading by temping vaginally.

  • Record your temperature soon after you take it (or ask your partner to) since most thermometers only store a reading until the next use. If you have to do something else or want to stay in bed, you can record it later.Basal body temperature charting

  • If you must use a heating pad or electric blanket, keep it at the same setting throughout your cycle. Make a note of its use.

  • Take your temperature before doing anything else including eating, drinking or going to the bathroom. If circumstances arise that prevent you from taking your temperature right away, take it as soon as you are able and make a note of the circumstances.

  • Start your chart from the beginning of your cycle, i.e. when you start bleeding.

  • Use a new sheet for each cycle
  • You may like to create your chart online, using websites such as www.fertilityfriend.com

To book an appointment with Martin Dean call 07969413158

 

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