Basal Body Temperature Charting Made Easy
For years women have been charting their basal body temperatures to either increase their chances of conceiving or to use with the rhythm method to prevent pregnancy. In this series, I will be referring to Basal Body Temperature charting, or BBT, in reference to the intent of conceiving. In previous pregnancies, I did not chart; conception came easily. BBT charting allows you to pinpoint the most fertile days out of your cycle to maximize your chances of conceiving. Conception is really only possible a few days out of your cycle, the few days leading up to and the day of ovulation. BBT charting makes it possible to narrow down exactly when those fertile are in the month.
The very first thing you should do is purchase a fertility BBT thermometer, found in the family planning section of you local pharmacy. These thermometers are more accurate to pinpoint subtle changes in your cycle. Follow these tips to chart successfully:
1. Always check your temperature at the same time every day after a solid block of sleep; checking your BBT as soon as you wake up while you are still in bed will give you the most accurate reading. Believe it or not the slightest change in time for temperature readings can adjust your chart readings and make it harder for you to determine your fertile period.
2. Always take your BBT the same way, either vaginally or orally. I took mine orally but for those have a tougher time achieving regular temperatures, especially for those working odd hours like shift-work, taking your BBT vaginally seems to be more accurate.
3. Check other signs daily to create a complete picture of your fertility. Checking your cervical fluid, or Cervical Mucus(CM) will help you determine your most fertile days. Cervical fluid can easily be checked by observing on toilet paper when you go to the bathroom. You will see slippery, like raw egg-whites, when you are most fertile. CM will be dry or sticky after your mensus, creamy as ovulation approaches, slippery as described during ovulation and then will dry up quickly after ovulation.
4. Your BBT will rise after ovulation, usually only a subtle 0.2 C or 0.4 F, will dip after 3 days from your overall temperatures to confirm ovulation has taken place and then remain higher if conception is successful. Your temperature may dip with implantation around 9 days post ovulation (DPO); the signs conception are indicated when your temperature remains higher after your usual mensus is due whereas your temperature would decrease at this point if you had not conceived.
Print out a new BBT chart each month to keep track of each cycle. Determining a pattern in your cycle may take 2-3 months before you can predict your most fertile days accurately and increase your chances of conceiving.
Good luck and happy charting!