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Charting your Waking Body Temperature, Cervical Fluid and Cervical Position can indicate when you are most fertile during your monthly cycle.  Charting can give you crucial information as to when you peak (most fertile) time is, when you have ovulated, when your menstrual period should begin, if you have successfully conceived or if there is a possibility of a hormonal imbalance.  Taking your waking body temperature is the first step to charting.  This page will give you instruction on how to take your daily temperature and what the information you obtain from them means.

When To Start Taking Temps
Your first temperature should be taken starting with day one of your cycle.  Day one of your cycle is the first day you begin your menstrual period. 

What Time To Take Temp
Your temperature reading can rise up to 1/10 of a degree for every half an hour taken later than normal or fall 1/10 of a degree for every half hour taken earlier than normal.  To get an accurate chart, it is crucial to take your temperature as close as possible to the same time everyday.  If you normally get up during the weekdays at 6:00 AM try and take all your temperatures at this time.   Weekends can be tough....we all like to sleep in,  just remember that each temperature that is not taken at the normal time has to be adjusted (using the 1/10 for every half an hour rule) which will get you close to what your temperature should have been.  Always log the time your temperature was taken each day and make a notation if your temperature has been adjusted.  


 

 

What Kind Of Thermometer
You can use either a traditional glass or digital thermometer, but use the same thermometer throughout your cycle.  If you use a traditional glass thermometer always shake it down and make sure you wait for 5 minutes before you read the temperature.  If you use a digital thermometer, wait for the beep (usually about 1 minute) before you read and that the temperature will register to 1/10 of a degree.  For example: will read 97.56 and not round up to 97.6.

Do I Take Temp Orally
Temperatures can be taken either orally or vaginally.  Which ever method you choose, keep it consistent throughout the cycle. 

Take Temps Upon Waking
It is important to take your temperature immediately upon waking.  Your temperature will fluctuate once you are moving around.  If you wake up during the middle of the night and you go back to sleep and get at least three additional hours of uninterrupted sleep, your temperature will be accurate.  If you wake up less than three hours before your normal scheduled waking time and have to get up for any reason, it is advisable to take your temperature then (before you get out of bed) and not at your normal waking time.   Remember log the time temperature was taken and make a notation as to the adjustment.

How To Log Your Temps
Start with a good spreadsheet  -  Check out different charts to use or make up one of your own.  Click here to obtain a BBT Chart by WebWomb.  There is no such thing as too much information to log in your chart - every little twinge may be telling you something!   Temps should range from the mid 96's to 99.00.  Your cycle day and date should run across the top of the spreadsheet.  Your indicator columns and your temperature range should run up and down.  Make sure you start your numbering on cycle day one (first day of mp) leave the blanks  if you have missed a few days.  Always round down.   For example if your waking temperature registered at 97. 52  - you would chart your temp at 97.5.   If it was 97.68 you would round down to 97.6 the reason for this is you do not want to risk charting a false high high temp.  A false high could lead you to believe that you have already ovulated when in fact you may still be fertile.  Circle the appropriate temp for the appropriate day and log all other indicators for that day.  Draw a line going from your first charted temp to your second charted temp, from your second charted temp to your third and so on.   This will give you a clearer picture as to the rises and or falls within your cycle.  Occasionally you may get an out of the ordinary temperature read - you may be ill, stressed, did not get enough sleep, had alcohol the night before....these temps should be logged but do not connect them to the previous day or the day after - the reason for this is they are not a true temp and may cause confusion in reading your chart.    Remember to make a notation as to the cause of the unusual temperature.

The Information Temps Give
Taking your waking body temperature can give you information that is very helpful if trying to conceive.  If not pregnant your temperature will reflect two phases during a cycle, three phases if conception has occurred.  Your temperatures will vary (fall and rise) during your monthly cycle.  They will  be lower in the first phase, higher in the second phase and higher still in the third phase once implantation takes place.   The rise in temps from the first phase to the second phase is caused from ovulation.  Your temps will rise only AFTER ovulation has taken place. Charting temperatures alone without using cervical fluid and position DOES NOT indicate when your most fertile time is (before ovulation) until after ovulation has occurred - which is too late.   Therefore we recommend that all indicators are charted to give a more efficient reading of fertility.

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