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First Phase Temps
The first phase (Preovulatory) before ovulation has occurred, temps will normally be between 97.0 to 97.5.  Right before ovulation occurs the hormone estrogen is produced causing lower temps.  Many women are able to see a dip in temp alerting them that peak time is near and ovulation is about to occur.   Just remember, your temps can rise and fall multiple times before a dip making it difficult to know when the lowest point will be.  It is important to also know that your lowest temperature is most likely NOT your peak day and unless you are charting other indicators you may miss your most fertile time completely.

Second Phase Temps
In the second phase (Luteal Phase) which begins after ovulation temperatures generally will rise between 97.6 and 98.6.  The increased temperatures are due to the hormone progesterone which is released from the corpus luetum - the follicle that hold the egg.  The temps will remain high for a period usually 12 to 16 days until they drop again (either the day before or the day of) when your cycle ends and menstrual period begins.  If conception occurs temperatures will remain high during the entire pregnancy. 

Third Phase Temps
Many women experience a third phase (Triphasic Phase)  which is temperatures climbing to yet another level that is approximately 3/10's - 4/10's over the Luteal Phase high. This is due to the HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) hormone that is produced if conception has occurred and when implantation takes place. 

Detecting Ovulation
Detecting ovulation by charting your temperatures can easily be seen after you have ovulated.  A dip in temperature followed by a rise (at least 2/10's of a degree) higher than all temps the previous six days and staying at or beyond this level for at least 3 consecutive days shows that ovulation has occurred.  Your coverline is usually drawn at this point.  Remember - Snuggle Buggle has to take place BEFORE you ovulate to enhance your chances for conception.  Charting your cervical fluid and position along with your temperatures will give you a much clearer picture as to when you are most likely ovulating and when your peak time is.  For more detailed information on detecting ovulation and drawing coverline, click on the appropriate link provided.

Identifying Anovulatory Cycles
A anovulatory cycle means that no ovulation occurred during that particular cycle.  This can be identified by charting your waking temperature.   When viewing charted temperatures that appear to have peaks and valleys (many low and high temps) throughout the entire month with no clear separation of a rise in level of temps (rising from first phase /  pre-ovulation Phase to second phase / luetal phase) this is a good indication that ovulation did not occur.  Many women who are able to conceive may have months that  no ovulation takes place - however,  we only have 12 times  a year to conceive so in my opinion any anovulatory cycles should be followed by seeking testing and / or treatment from ones OBGYN or RE specialist.    

Low Estrogen Levels
Estrogen is a hormone that is produced by the follicles that hold an egg. Estrogen plays a large part in the ability to conceive.  It is the hormone needed for women to ovulate.  It also plays a part as to the amount and quality of cervical mucus which is crucial for the sperm to travel up to the outer third part of the fallopian tubes for conception.  An indication of low levels of estrogen would be a nonovulatory cycle along with low amount or poor quality of cervical fluid.    For more detailed information on estrogen and its function, click on the Monthly Cycle page link.

Low Progesterone Levels
Progesterone is also an important hormone within our cycle.   It comes from  the corpus luteum.  When an egg is released the follicle that held it collapses and becomes a yellowed bodied mass called the corpus luteum.   The corpus luteum sticks to the ovarian wall and starts producing progesterone.   Its life span is about 12 to 16 days.  Progesterone insures that all maturing eggs (15 - 20 within a cycle) are not released, it thickens the uterine lining, and causes the fertile signs - dip and temp, egg white cervical mucus, and high cervical position to return to a non fertile state.  

Low Progesterone levels can be indicated by seeing temps close to, on or below coverline after ovulation through the end of  a cycle.  Even if ovulation was achieved,  low progesterone levels make it very difficult to obtain successful conception.  Low progesterone levels can be treated by seeking help from an OBGYN or RE specialist.  Progesterone shots, pills, and suppositories are some of the ways Doctors may prescribe to increase this hormone.  For more detailed information on Progesterone and its function please click on the the Monthly Cycle page link.   

Indication of Possible Pregnancy
Ovulation day is not necessarily the same day month to month making the first phase of a cycle vary.  The luteal phase (second phase after ovulation) usually is the same every month.  After ovulation has occurred you can indicate a pregnancy by watching for the passing of your normal luteal phase.  For example if you always have 13 days (DPO - days past ovulation) from when you ovulate to when your period comes and its now 16 DPO, there is a very good chance you are pregnant!   18 DPO with high temps usually guarantee's that you have conceived.  Seeing the a sustained third phase (triphasic phase) will also put you on the red alert to a possible success!

Indication of Possible Miscarriage
Miscarriages are heartbreaking and unfortunately not a rare occurrence!  An astounding 1 out of 3 pregnancies end in miscarriage.  Many early miscarriages happen so early that if not charting, one probably would never know it occurred.  Sometimes it happens so early that it could be confused with a late period.   Passing your normal luteal phase date combined with a third level of temps only to be followed with a steady decline or sudden drop in temp and bleeding may indicate a   miscarriage has occurred.  If you suspect you are miscarrying, please contact your OBGYN, RE or medical doctor. 

Don't Temp Alone!
Your waking body temperature is a great tool to use in fertility awareness.  But temp readings are much better served when charted along with cervical fluid and cervical position.  Using the three indicators together will give you a wonderful indication of  when your most fertile and peak time is which will greatly enhance your chances for conception.  When you are most fertile, your cervical position is very high, your cervix gets soft and the slit becomes open.  Your cervical fluid becomes abundant, clear and stretchy (consistency of egg whites).   In using all three indicators you will be amazed at the information you will gain about your cycle and what your own body can tell you about your own fertility!  For more detailed information on cervical fluid and position, please click on the provided links for the appropriate page.