You probably know it already, but charting your fertility is one of the best ways to optimize your chances of conception. There are a couple of key factors you can track that we talk about all the time on this site: your cervical mucus and your basal body temperature. Today, we want to take a look at some tips for charting your basal body temperature that may help you get the most accurate readings and give you the best shot at getting pregnant.
Here are some key essentials to keep in mind for charting your BBT:
- The thermometer matters. Choose a thermometer that has the kind of accuracy you need in order to track relatively minor changes in your BBT.
- Do it first. Make sure you take your temp before you get up, even to pee. Any activity at all can potentially raise your BBT. Keep the thermometer at your bedside so you don’t have to get up to get it.
- Sleep affects your BBT. If you haven’t been asleep for at least three hours, your BBT won’t be as accurate.
- Record your results right away. Even if your thermometer has a “memory” feature, there’s always the chance the battery will die and you’ll lose the information.
- Heating pads and electric blankets affect your BBT. If you’re going to use one of these, do try to keep it set exactly the same temperature and try to use it each night throughout your cycle.
- You need to have comparable readings. That means you need to take your temperature at roughly the same time each day. It also means you should use the same thermometer each day, because there can be variations from one to the next.
- You might have to switch thermometers. You’ll want to keep a spare thermometer around in case one breaks. You’ll also want to make a note in your chart if you replace your thermometer, or if the battery runs out on an electronic thermometer and you have to replace it.
When you’re tracking your BBT so that you can predict ovulation, the temp changes you’re looking for are relatively small. Anything you can do to increase the accuracy and reliability of your readings will help give you a clearer picture of when you ovulate and when the best time to try to conceive will be.