Basal Body Temperature

image001 It’s important to know your ovulation cycle so that you can easily time when to have sex accordingly. Most of the women use ovulation predictor kits which are reliable and which tip-off before ovulating. However, the most effective way to know your ovulation cycle is simply by charting the basal body temperature (BBT) and monitoring the cervical mucus (CM). This method is natural and free giving you a sense of your ovulation cycle. Basal body temperature is your body’s temperature at rest. Mostly, your basal body temperature will go up by at least four-tenths of a degree during ovulation. If that temperature sticks up at that level, you will automatically know that ovulation occurred on that day.

What Is Basal Body Temperature?

Basal body temperature (BBT) can be defined as the lowest body temperature in a 24 hour period. You can use a BBT thermometer to take readings every morning when you wake at about the same time every day. This kind of thermometer records degree changes. It comes with a chart for recording the temperatures of each day. Your BBT will probably range from 97.2 to about 97.7 degrees Fahrenheit before ovulation; however, this temperature may increase gradually by about 0.4-1.0degrees after 3-4 days, because of the hormonal changes which may occur in the body and may last till your next menstrual period. The BBT only tells you when you have ovulated. First month of temperature recording may not be much fruitful but with onward charting of BBT for a few months, you will eventually notice the pattern of your cycle. This pattern might be very useful when predicting your next period and you can as well plan for sex effectively.

How to Take My Basal Body Temperature

1. The Factors Affecting the Accuracy of BBT

It is important to note that there are factors which can lead to temperature changes and thus affect the accuracy of your chart. These factors include:

  • Disturbed sleep or lack of sleep
  • Emotional distress
  • Use of painkillers
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Exhaustion or illness
  • Sleeping with electric blanket.
  • Not using the right equipment. a finer scale basal thermometer is recommended.

These are just some of the factors that might be the cause of inaccurate temperature recording. In order to clarify any reading caused by these factors, it is important to note down these factors on your chart. Before you determine your ovulation cycle accurately, it will take several months. You can always consult your health-care provider, in case you might have issues with charting process. But before that, it’s advisable to try and follow the instruction coming with the package.

2. The Procedure

  • Before you lie down on your bed, you should make sure that you put the thermometer within your reach so that you don’t have to stand up in the morning when you wake up. Getting out of bed may just trigger or increase you temperature skewing the results.
  • You should maintain consistency in taking your temperature reading; make sure that you record at the same time in the morning with a range of 30 minutes if there is a variation.
  • The first thing, when you wake is to take your temperature reading before doing anything else.
  • You can take your temperature readings either vaginally or orally. It doesn’t matter which one you choose. What you must know is that you should not change it time to time. Stick to only one method of taking your temperature; however, in case you tend to sleep with your mouth open, stick to vaginal method.
  • Follow all the instructions on your thermometer strictly in order to get the best results. If it’s a mercury thermometer, you should give it enough time to get the correct reading. On the other hand, if it’s not a mercury one, it’s advisable to shake it as you go to bed than when you wake up.
  • Every temperature you take, make sure you record it down. You can keep a pen and a paper by your bed to record this reading in the morning. Some of the BBT thermometers may have a memory and they can save the reading, but it’s still advisable to write it down manually.

3. Fill in a BBT Chart

Basal body temperature chart is very important, and you can acquire it from your gynecologist. To fill your BBT chart well, make sure that you sleep with a pen and a paper by your bed side and record the temperature which should be within one-eighth of a degree every day. As you continue filling your chart, you will see a pattern forming. These patterns differ with each person; in some BBT may rise suddenly, while in others the rise is gradual. The temperature can as well vary from cycle to cycle.

How to Know When I’m Ovulating by My Basal Body Temperature

When ovulation occurs, hormonal changes may trigger a slight increase in basal body temperature which can last until the next period. In some cases, you might experience some temperature increase, but unless it stays for more than 3 days, it doesn’t mean that you have probably ovulated. The temperature rise should be of about 0.2 degrees as compared to the last six days. You will be most fertile just few days before the temperature rises and on the day it spikes up. The first month of charting your temperature may not be accurate, but after several months, you will have a clear pattern of your cycle. In addition, if you become pregnant, your basal body temperature remains at its elevated level all through the pregnancy.

More Facts About the Basal Body Temperature Chart

It is important to note that using charts may not be as easy as using OPKs to predict ovulation. Charting may be stressful considering you have to get the time to have sex to get successful conception. You should beware of getting obsessed with the charting of your temperature. This may easily happen since it’s the first thing you wake up to. This method may as well be used to prevent conception as long as accurate charting is followed. It is 99% effective method of preventing conception.

Want to get more information about how to know when you’re ovulating? Check out the video below: