How To Take Basal Body Temperature

Ovulation and Pregnancy

Determining when you ovulate greatly increases your chances for becoming pregnant.  Learn how to predict your ovulation with the basal body temperature method!
Determining when you ovulate greatly increases your chances for becoming pregnant. Learn how to predict your ovulation with the basal body temperature method! | Source

What is Basal Body Temperature?

Your basal body temperature is the lowest temperature you'll register throughout the day. As you sleep at night, your body's temperature falls. So the lowest temperature your body will register will be first thing in the morning. Before you've even risen from the bed. This temperature is the basal body temperature.

Using Basal Body Temperature To Determine Ovulation

When you ovulate, your basal body temperature will rise approximately 0.5 degrees up to 1 full degree higher than your normal basal body temperature. It will remain higher until you begin your next menstrual cycle. When you notice your temperature is higher than on previous mornings, this means you've ovulated with in the last few days.

By this time, it's generally too late to attempt to get pregnant as the egg is only fertile for 24 hours. So how can you use this information to help you get pregnant? You start tracking your basal body temperature every morning for several months. The first day your begin should be the first day of your menstrual cycle, this is considered day one of your full cycle. Then start looking for a pattern.

Ovulation occurs approximately in the middle of your cycle, or day 14. Keep in mind though, everyone is different. You may notice a rise in your body temperature on the 17th day of your cycle. This would mean you ovulated around the 15th day, or two days before the rise in temperature.

When you determine about what day in your cycle your temperature rises, you are at your most fertile 2-3 days before that. When trying to determine ovulation to get pregnant, having intercourse during these 2-3 days will greatly increase your odds!

Digital Thermometer

Use a digital or glass thermometer to check your basal body temperature.  Just be sure and stick with the same one every morning!
Use a digital or glass thermometer to check your basal body temperature. Just be sure and stick with the same one every morning! | Source

Taking Your Basal Body Temperature

Start recording your basal body temperature on day 1 of your cycle. When you wake in the morning, note what time it is and immediately take your temperature. You can use a digital or glass thermometer orally, just be sure and continue to use the same thermometer. Take your temperature before your rise, before you talk, yawn, stretch, basically anything else. As soon as you open your eyes, grab the thermometer and take your temperature. You should also try to take it at about the same time every morning. Consistency is the key, same thermometer, same time, same method (by mouth or vaginally).

When you start taking your temperature, you'll want to record it on a chart. You can make your own spreadsheet or use one already made like this basal body temperature chart. This will make it easier to track and note patterns, this making it easier to estimate when ovulation occurs!

Tips - Basal Body Temperature

Take your temperature immediately upon waking.
Take your temperature at the same time every morning.
Use the same thermometer to take your temperature every time.
If you're ill basal body temperatures may not be accurate.
These are just a few tips to remember to help ensure accurate readings every time. Watch for a rise in temperature to indicate you've recently ovulated.

Additional Information

Though you can use any digital or glass thermometer, if you want additional features such as memory recall and quick readings, you can get a basal thermometer. These can really come in handy when it's early in the morning and you don't want to get up to log your temperature right then. You can just hit the memory recall and log it later. They also feature proper positioning monitoring, letting you know if your holding the thermometer properly or not. This can greatly increase the accuracy of your readings as well. If your ready to seriously start looking for ovulation and pregnancy, I recommend getting one of these. If you're going to do it (especially for months at a time), you might as well do it right!

If you've been having trouble with infertility and have been unable to get pregnant, you've probably already attempted to monitor your basal body temperature. There are also ovulation kits that can help predict ovulation. These might be a more convenient method. Or you can check your temperature routinely and then use an ovulation kit to help verify your results.


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