How To Track Your Basal Body Temperature
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How To Track Your Basal Body Temperature

Learn how to track your ovulation using the basal body temperature method.

Women who want to track and predict their ovulation and fertility dates can use the basal body temperature method. This method is most effective if you have a thermometer that is specific to the purpose of recording basal body temperatures. You can find one of these thermometers at  your local pharmacy. These thermometers are more sensitive than regular thermometers, recording your body's exact temperature. It is recommended that you use a digital thermometer for the most accurate read, though some women prefer the mercury version. Most of the digital thermometers come with a blank graph for you to record your temperatures and instructions on how to use the graph. There are also websites online that you can use to input your temperature data and the software will compile the information into a printable graph. Some of these websites will also calculate your predicted ovulation date or next menstrual cycle. 

Using the method of basal body temperature is an effective way of predicting ovulation after it has already happened. It is suggested that you use other methods of fertility tracking to get a more accurate ovulation date such as; cervical mucus tracking and cervic position. Using the basal body temperature method alone will allow you to predict the general time your body ovulates after it has already happened. For this reason, if you are using this method alone, you should plan to chart your ovulation and temperatures for at least 3-5 months in order to see clearly the patterns of your ovulation. 

Tips and things to remember:

  • Your temperature rises approximately 0.36 to 0.9 degrees when you ovulate. You will be able to use these charts to notice a distinct pattern of ovulation and plan future intercourse around those dates. 
  • Start a new chart at the start of your menstrual cycle. This would be day one of your cycle. Start tracking each new month until the first day of your next cycle.
  • Make a space on the graph for the actual day of the month, as well as the date so that you can plan which days are likely in the future to be good ovulation dates.
  • Take your temperature every morning before you get out of bed. This is best done if you wake up and lie very still in the bed. You can keep your thermometer on the nightstand or table next to your bed, in arms reach. Do not sit up, talk, move, or go to the bathroom before you take your temperature.
  • Be sure to keep a spot on the graph for days that you record intercourse and menstrual cycle.
  • Make note of any illness, symptoms of fever or cold on the graph. These things may affect the outcome of your graph and the accuracy of your records.
  • You can also chart how much you have been exercising per day, emotions, stress, and/or eating habits. All of these things can contribute to your temperatures and ultimately effect your dates.

Additional resources:

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