Basal Body Temperature Method

BBT (Basal Body Temperature) – The greatest thing about this method is that outside of the cost for a BBT thermometer and some charting sheets  there won’t be any more money that needs to be spent.  The downfall to this method is that it will only tell you after you ovulate.  Until you get the hang of charting, so that you can estimate when ovulation will occur, you will only know after you ovulate which is too late to get pregnant.  You won’t have time to “catch” the egg if you wait for your temperature to rise.  Following are a few tips on charting your BBT (All degrees are in Fahrenheit):

  1. Charting is a very good tool to use to learn about your cycle.  Keep all of your charts and show them to your doctor or gynecologist.  He will be able to tell a lot about you from your charts.
  2. Buy a Basal Body Temperature Thermometer.  You can get a thermometer specifically for this purpose along with some ovulations charts from here
  3. Take your temperature first thing in the morning when you wake up.  Do not sit up, drink, eat, smoke, or do anything else that may change the temperature.  You should keep the thermometer beside your bed so that you don’t have to get up to get it.
  4. Start on the first day of your cycle (that is the first day of the start of your menstrual period) and do not miss any days.
  5. Get at least 5 to 6 hours of sleep before taking your temperature.
  6. You may take your temperature orally, vaginally or rectally.  Whatever method you choose, be sure to use that method for the entire cycle.  Also, take it the same way every day (ex. - stick the thermometer in the same depth every time).
  7. Some women may have a temperature dip near the time that they ovulate.  If you are lucky enough to have a temperature dip (which you won’t start to notice until you chart a couple of months), be sure to have sex on the day that you notice the dip.
  8. Some women have a temperature dip after ovulation because of a second surge of estrogen; do not be confused by this.
  9. To determine when you have ovulated, look for a temperature shift that is 0.2 degrees higher than the previous 6.
  10. Your coverline is used to determine when you have ovulated and also to determine important information about your Luteal Phase.  To determine your coverline look at the previous 6 temperatures before ovulation.  You may throw out one temperature if it is high for some other reason or seems out of place.  Note: You may not always have a temperature that you need to throw out.  You will know if it needs thrown out if the temp goes down significantly the next two days.  Your coverline will be 0.1 degrees above the highest temperature in the last 6 temperatures.  Below is an example of a typical chart for days 9 through 16.
  11. Three days after the temperature shift you can draw a line between the Follicular Phase and the Luteal Phase.  The Luteal Phase is generally 14 days long.  If it is less than 12 days then you may have a Luteal Phase defect and should discuss it with your doctor.
  12. If the Luteal Phase lasts longer than 17 days then a pregnancy test may be in order.  This is a good sign of pregnancy.  If a pregnancy test is negative and you have not started your period after a 17-day Luteal Phase you should see your doctor to rule out any other problems.
  13. Do not analyze your temperatures on a daily basis.  Wait until you get one cycle done and then look at the completed chart so that you can see where your temperature rise was and your Luteal Phase began.
  14. Compare your charts from month to month and you will begin to see your patterns.

On the chart below the woman’s temperatures are highlighted in yellow for each particular day.  The coverline is highlighted in blue.  The highlighted temperature on Day 11 (97.9) may be thrown out because, as you can see, it is out of place and you were probably sick that day or took your temperature too late.  Just overlook that temperature.  On day 14 your temperature is 97.1 and then on day 15 the temperature goes over 0.2 degrees higher than any of the previous 6 days up to 97.8.  Therefore, you probably ovulated on Day 14 when your temperature took a small dip down to 97.1.  To draw your coverline you need to go one degree higher than the highest number in the past 6 days (excluding the temperature Day 11 because it was thrown out).  The highest temperature was on Day 10 (97.5).  Therefore, you go one degree above that and your coverline is 97.6 degrees, which is highlighted in blue.  Day 15, which is highlighted in pink, is the first day of the Luteal Phase.  If you count from this day to the end of the cycle, after your cycle is over, you will be able to determine the length of your Luteal Phase.

 

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

98.2

98.2

98.2

98.2

98.2

98.2

98.2

98.2

98.1

98.1

98.1

98.1

98.1

98.1

98.1

98.1

98.0

98.0

98.0

98.0

98.0

98.0

98.0

98.0

97.9

97.9

97.9

97.9

97.9

97.9

97.9

97.9

97.8

97.8

97.8

97.8

97.8

97.8

97.8

97.8

97.7

97.7

97.7

97.7

97.7

97.7

97.7

97.7

97.6

97.6

97.6

97.6

97.6

97.6

97.6

97.6

97.5

97.5

97.5

97.5

97.5

97.5

97.5

97.5

97.4

97.4

97.4

97.4

97.4

97.4

97.4

97.4

97.3

97.3

97.3

97.3

97.3

97.3

97.3

97.3

97.2

97.2

97.2

97.2

97.2

97.2

97.2

97.2

97.1

97.1

97.1

97.1

97.1

97.1

97.1

97.1

97.0

97.0

97.0

97.0

97.0

97.0

97.0

97.0

 

 

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