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How Do I Chart My Basal Body Temperature?

If you want to know when you are ovulating then you should definitely chart your basal body temperature. However, it is important to know how to do it correctly so you get accurate results!


The best way to start is to take your temperature daily, preferably before you get out of bed, and record the temperature. Try to take it at the exact same time every day if possible because this will improve the readings. As you record your temperatures over time you can see how they fluctuate throughout the month and your cycle. The fluctuations will also clue you in to when you are ovulating, and when you aren’t. It is recommended to connect the temperature dots by lines to see how they change over the period of days. The only setback to charting your basal body temperature is that you know after the fact when you have ovulated. So, this does not really give you a head’s up immediately to try to conceive. It does, however, allow you to see your body’s pattern and know when you ovulate on a monthly schedule so that you can try to conceive in the future. Generally, after charting for three months you can get an idea of when your body ovulates.

Getting Started

When you chart your BBT you need to start from the first day of your menstrual cycle. This is the first day of your period. At this point your temperature is not necessary, but the details about your period are. On the same chart you have been using you will want to begin recording your basal body temperature on day five. You will continue recording your BBT every day at the same time for the rest of the cycle or until your period begins signaling a new cycle. At this time you start a new chart. Some people find using a fertility computer in addition to charting their basal body temperature is quite helpful.

Regardless of whether you are using BBT as a natural birth control method or you are trying to conceive it is important to ensure that you are taking your temperature correctly and recording the numbers correctly on the chart. This will help you significantly and clue you in to when you are ovulating. Your cervical mucus, breast tenderness, and mood can also help you so consider charting these signs, too.

Last modified: February 10, 2013

The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.