Basal Body Temperature Charting
One of the changes that ordinarily take place in a woman’s body as part of her menstrual pattern is that her body temperature is lower during the first part of the cycle. In most women it usually rises slightly with ovulation and remains up during the second part until just before her next period. Recording each day’s temperature helps to indicate when ovulation has occurred.
The temperature method requires charting your basal body temperature (BBT), the temperature your body registers when you’re completely at rest. The basal body temperature varies slightly from person to person. For most women, 96 to 98 degrees taken orally is considered normal before ovulation and 97 to 99 after. The changes are small fractions—from 1/10 to 1/2 degree. So it’s best to get a special, large-scale, easy-to-read basal thermometer that registers only from 96 to 100 degrees.
Taking Your Temperature
Each morning take your temperature, as soon as you wake up—before getting out of bed, talking, eating, drinking, having sex, or smoking. Before doing ANYTHING. It is best to take your temperature at around the same time each day, so setting your alarm clock may be advisable. Be sure to follow the directions provided with your basal thermometer so you know how long you need to use the thermometer in order to gain an accurate temperature reading. Read the temperature to within 1/10 of a degree and record the reading. You can download a free bbt chart to record you temperature on.
You can also use Ovusoft fertility software to record your basal body temperatures and other natural fertility signs.
Charting Your Basal Temperature Pattern
Each reading must be recorded. As each day’s temperature is plotted on the graph, you will learn to recognize your own pattern. Your temperature rise may be sudden, gradual, or in steps. The pattern may vary from cycle to cycle.
You must also realize that your basal body temperature can be influenced by physical or emotional upsets or even lack of sleep. In addition, illness, emotional distress, jet lag, disturbed sleep, smoking, drinking an unaccustomed amount of alcohol the night before, and using an electric blanket may affect your body temperature. Noting such events on the chart helps to interpret the readings. The free bbt chart we offer at BabyHopes.com will allow you to record these events. This will allow you to make better sense of your temperature readings.
In the beginning, you should get help in reading your BBT chart from a physician, nurse, or family planning specialist. In time, under supervision, you’ll gain the knowledge and confidence to use the chart by yourself. Be sure to chart your temperature for at least three months before relying on this method.
Basal body temperature charting is quite accurate in detecting when ovulation has occurred, but can’t predict when it’s about to happen. Charting for several months will allow you to pinpoint when you ovulate better and in turn let you time intercouse before ovulation so your chances of getting pregnant are greater.
Sperm generally remain capable of fertilizing an egg for two to three days after ejaculation. There are even instances of sperm remaining active five or more days after intercourse. So if you have sexual intercourse several days before ovulation, there’s a good chance that live sperm could still fertilize a newly released egg. Combining BBT with another method may help in trying to calculate ovulation in advance.