When it comes to tracking your fertility, basal body temperature (BBT) monitoring is an invaluable tool that can help you pinpoint ovulation and understand your unique menstrual cycle. But what exactly is BBT and how is it used in conception? Here’s everything you need to know to get started with basal body temperature charting.
What Is Basal Body Temperature?
Basal body temperature (BBT) is your body’s temperature at rest. It is measured immediately upon waking in the morning, before getting out of bed or engaging in any activity. In most cases, BBT is measured orally, using a BBT thermometer, but it can also be taken rectally or vaginally. Your body temperature rises and falls throughout the day, usually in response to hormone levels and daily activities. During the menstrual cycle, however, there is one particularly noticeable pattern in BBT—a slight increase at ovulation. This temperature rise is very subtle, usually less than one degree Fahrenheit, so it can be easily missed without careful tracking and charting of BBT.
Using BBT to Track Your Fertility
Tracking BBT is required for fertility charting, also known as fertility awareness-based methods. These methods use BBT in conjunction with other fertility indicators, like cervical mucus and observation of cervical position, to identify signs of ovulation and determine when a woman is most fertile. By tracking your BBT every morning and entering it into an app or fertility chart, along with other fertility indicators, you can more accurately pinpoint your ovulation date and calculate your most fertile days during each cycle. This, in turn, can help you time intercourse and understand when you are most likely to conceive.
Getting Started with BBT Charting
To get started with BBT charting, you will need to purchase a BBT thermometer, which measures temperature to 1/10th of a degree. Keep in mind that regular thermometers will not be precise enough for fertility charting. You should also download a fertility charting app, such as OvuView, to store your data. When you wake up in the morning, take your temperature using the BBT thermometer and enter the data into the fertility charting app. Make sure to take your temperature at the same time every morning and avoid any activities before taking your temperature. It’s important to note that the temperature increase associated with ovulation may take several days to become noticeable. As a result, you may need to chart your BBT over several cycles before you see any patterns emerge. Over time, however, you will be able to hone in on your own unique cycle and use your charts to time intercourse for conception.
Basal body temperature monitoring is a valuable tool for tracking ovulation and understanding your menstrual cycle. By tracking your BBT, you can pinpoint your ovulation date and determine when you’re most fertile, which can help you optimize your chances of conceiving. To start tracking your BBT, you will need to purchase a BBT thermometer and download a fertility charting app. BBT charting may take some time before you notice any patterns, so it’s important to remain patient and consistent. Understanding your menstrual cycle and being aware of your fertility signs can allow you to make informed decisions about family planning and maximize your chances of conceiving.