Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is the body temperature in the morning before rising or moving
around or eating anything. Basal temperature can be used for checking your fertile days , for identifying your ovulation day, for using natural methods of contraception and for early pregnancy verification.
IMPORTANT TO KNOW
If your basal temperature stays high for 18 days or more after ovulation, it could be first signal for pregnancy – be careful and test for pregnancy.
Basal temperature stays high during whole pregnancy.
If you miss your period - check basal temperature for 2-5 days - if it is high (37.2 C - 37.4 C), it could be pregnancy (98% possibility for regular menstrual cycles and 48% possibility for irregular periods).
IMPORTANT TO KNOW
In normal ovulatory cycles basal temperature stays high always for 14 days (before expected period).
It is same for regular and irregular periods.
How Basal Temperature should be measured
Using Basal Temperature method you can identify the slight drop before ovulation and then
rise by 0.5 degree Celsius or 1 degree Fahrenheit after ovulation has occurred. It remains
raised until your next menstrual bleeding, when it will drop again, to start the cycle again.
Basal Temperature is measured by taking your temperature in the normal fashion each
morning as soon as you wake up and before you do anything else (including going to the
toilet, having a cup of coffee, discussing morning issues, etc.). You can write the temperature
down on your chart, and soon you will notice a pattern.
1. Charting your BBTs is really pretty easy. Basically, what you are doing is taking your
temperature first thing each day and plotting the temperature on a chart.
2. Check your basal temperature every morning as it is advices above – as soon as you wake up and before you do anything else (including going to the toilet, having a cup of coffee, discussing morning issues, etc.).
3. Try to take the temperature at approximately the same time each day. Staying within an hour either side of your average time is a good idea because your temperature can vary with the time.
4. It is recommended to take your basal emperature after a minimum of 5-6 hours sleep.
5. You can take your temperature orally, vaginally, or rectally - just stay with the same method for the entire cycle.
6. You should try to place the thermometer the same way each day (same location of your mouth, same depth vaginally and rectally).
7. Register your basal temperature on your BBT chart each day.
8. Some women, not all, have a temperature drop when they ovulate. If you see this drop, it is a good idea to have sex in case you are ovulating and in case you are planning pregnancy.
9. What you are looking for is a temperature shift of at least 4 degrees over a 48-hour period to indicate ovulation. This shift should be above the highest temperatures in the previous six days, allowing one temperature to be thrown out as inaccurate (stress, fluke, illness).
10. After you see a temperature shift for at least three days, or at the end of your cycle, you can draw a cover-line between your follicular phase and luteal phase temperatures. With luck, it is easy to see a clear shift and draw your line between the highest follicular phase BBT and the lowest luteal phase BBT as in the sample above. The main reason for drawing this line is to be sure that your chart is clearly biphasic. If not – most probably you did not have ovulation which could be temporary (not very important) but it also could be a reason for infertility (if you had 2-3 months if monophasic basal temperature).
11. The analysis should be done at the end of the month (end of menstrual cycle!) to be able to understand the whole picture. One month chart is not enough for analysis; you would need few months’ charts to be able to recognize patterns.
12. If your temperature stays up for 18 days or more after ovulation, it could mean the pregnancy – be careful and test for pregnancy.
IMPORTANT TO KNOW
Women with ovulatory cycles but with irregular cycle lengths usually have
different duration of the follicular phase (first part of the chart). The luteal phase should be
relatively constant (within 1-2 days). So if one has a cycle that ranges from 28-34 days, and a
luteal phase of 14 days, ovulation would occur somewhere between days 14-20 - not the
middle of a cycle (not in the middle of cycle). This is the biggest mistake women with long
cycles make when trying to conceive.
Basal Temperature during pregnancy
Day 1 of the cycle marked on the bottom of the chart is the first day of the period. Ovulation occurred sometime between Day12 and Day 14. On Day 14 there is a rise in temperature and it remains elevated until Day 35 which is the last day shown on this chart. A higher-phase temperature that persists for 21 days or more indicates pregnancy. There is a further rise in temperature at the time of implantation on Day 24 due to the increase in progesterone secretion from the corpus luteum. The conceptus implanting in the endometrium starts secreting human chorionic gonadotrophic hormone (hCG) which prevents the demise of the corpus luteum. Progesterone from the corpus luteum supports the pregnancy for 8 weeks after conception after which the embryo is capable of synthesizing all steroid hormones required for its development.