Basal Body Temperature
BBT Chart for fertility and ovulation prediction
TTC Charting of LH fertile dates
understanding your Basal Body Temperature ovulation chart
Basal Body Temperature Chart (BBT)
Your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is your temperature at rest, when you first wake up in the morning before you get out of bed and do any physical activity or go to the bathroom. By charting your BBT you will learn, when or if, you are ovulating.
You do need to use a special type of thermometer, which is able to record the slight changes in your temperature. You should be able to find these Basal thermometers in your local pharmacy. It is best if you take your BBT close to the same time every morning, and it has to be immediately after you wake. Make sure you have had at least three hours of uninterrupted sleep before you take your BBT.
Quick BBT chart guide
| Enlarge Sample chart|
For the average 28 day cycle. The pattern of temperature would show about 12 - 14 days of lower temperature readings. The highest of these would be your coverline __ __ __ (or baseline) temperature.
Around day 14 your temperature would show a rise above this coverline. This rise happens after your ovulation, and your temperature will stay elevated for 10-16 days.
Around 28 days you get your period. Your temperature normally drops at this time as well.
The actual temperatures are less important than noting a pattern showing two levels of temperatures.
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What is this BBT chart about ?
Before a woman ovulates, the basal body temperatures range from around 97.0 to 97.5 degrees Fahrenheit (36.1 to 36.3 Celcius). This is due to the presence of estrogen, which keeps temps down. Temperatures will vary from person to person, but should stay below your coverline.
( Coverline shown on the sample chart as red __ __ __ dashed line )
Once ovulation has occurred, the temps go up to a new, higher level, usually ranging from around 97.6 to 98.9 F ( 36.4 to 36.6 C ).The day after ovulation, the temp generally jumps up by at least 0.2 degrees F ( 0.11 degrees C ), and then continues to rise somewhat. This increase in temperature is caused by the progesterone released from the follicle after ovulation.
It will become apparent after a few days that it is in a new, higher range. The temps themselves will continue to rise and dip day by day, but will remain in the higher range. ( Above your coverline )
The actual temperatures are less important than noting a pattern showing two levels of temperatures. If there is no pregnancy, then your temperature will stay elevated for 10 - 16 days, until the corpus luteum regresses. At this time, progesterone levels drop dramatically and you get your period. Your temperature normally drops at this time as well, though it is not unusual to have erratic or high temperatures during your period.
If your Basal Body Temperature remains elevated for 18 days or more after ovulation, you should probably test for pregnancy.
To see a sample filled out BBT chart go here.
Your BBT chart
|You should start taking your BBT on the first day of your menstrual cycle and take the temperature throughout your cycle into the next period. On the first day of your next period, begin a new chart and the recording process all over again. Keep charting it for at least 3 cycles, because taking your BBT only allows you to realize that you have ovulated after it has happened, it is necessary to chart your BBT for a few a months before you can accurately know when to expect ovulation.|
Print a Basal Body Temperature Chart here.
Record the temperature reading on the BBT chart by placing a dot on the appropriate horizontal line. If you miss a day, leave that days entry blank, connect the points with straight lines. Indicate in the appropriate column on the chart which days you had sexual intercourse and make sure you record any events which would affect your temperature, such as interrupted sleep, a cold, stress, alcohol, medication, and so on.
You need to......
Other fertility signs
|Some women experience a slow rise in temperature over a period of days rather than an immediate rise, which makes it more difficult to ascertain ovulation. However, even with the slow rise, a pattern of temperatures in a higher range will become evident after several days and one can generally pinpoint the day of ovulation with some degree of accuracy. It is helpful to also take note of other fertility signs, such as cervical mucus.|
Cervical MucusMucus varies from dry, to sticky, to creamy, to egg-white (EW) before ovulation in most women.
After ovulation it is normal to have some dry, sticky or creamy mucus, and some women have watery mucus or a little egg-white again right before their menses begins.
Cervical PositionIf you are planning to chart cervical position in addition to BBTs and mucus, it makes sense to chart your mucus by feeling your cervix (or having your partner do it).
You cervix has a pattern each month . . . it should start out low, closed and firm. Around ovulation it shifts upward, gets softer and feels more open. The difference is slight -- like the difference between feeling your nose (firm) and feeling your lips (soft). It should only stay high for a day or two around ovulation and you may catch it in transition for a day on either side. The rest of the luteal phase (after ovulation) the cervix should be low. It is often soft right before menses. It tends to shift up if you are pregnant.
One caution is that you should not read too much into cervical position alone since how full your bowels are can make a difference as to how high it feels.
Conception takes time
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