Basal Body Temperature Chart, also known as your BBT chart is a powerful cycle tracker.
It's highly accurate, easily accessible and most importantly it is FREE (minus the cost of a digital thermometer).
I get all women who see me for fertility support to get in the habit of taking their BBT as soon as possible because it is so useful.
What does your BBT tell you?
- The temperature of your body upon waking which is the time you are most rested and your metabolism and temperature are at its baseline
- The length of your phases (follicular, luteal)
- When you are ovulating
- When your fertile window is
- If your inner oven is running too hot or too cold from a Chinese medicine perspective.
So let's get to it!
Step 1: Get yourself a thermometer
I find digital easiest as it beeps, you can get ones with a lit background and it makes the whole process much more friendly for a non-morning person. Most importantly is that it gives readings to two decimal places.
Hot tip: put the thermometer next to your bedside table so it's a reminder for you to take your temp the moment you open your eyes.
Step 2: Take your temp, at the same time, every day.
This is the part most women struggle with. But like any habits you just have to incorporate it into your morning routine. Your BBT has to be taken BEFORE you get out of bed. The reason for this is as soon as your feet hit the side of your bed your body's metabolism will have started and your temperature will change.
So wake up, take your temp (orally or vaginally), log it and go on bout your day like it's your business (as Tabitha Brown would say). The more consistent you are with your times the more accurate your charting will be.
Step 3: Log your temps and any other symptoms
Once you've started logging your temp every day you can plug it into a cycle tracker app like fertility friend. Also make note of any other symptoms you may feel eg (tender breasts, low mood, changes in cervical mucous, energy levels etc). At the end of each cycle, you might notice a trend or pattern which will give you more insight into your body!
For women who are trying to conceive, reflecting on your charts will give you a more specific time frame of your fertile window.
What may affect your BBT?
- Having an argument before bed (those are the worst)
- Not enough sleep
- Feeling unwell
- Sleeping in a different location.
DOs of BBT
- Consistency will produce the most accurate readings.
- Take your temp orally or vaginally
- Allow at least 3 cycles to establish trends and patterns
- BUT take a break if it is causing you stress/anxiety.
Happy BBT charting lovelies!
Rebekah has a special interest in fertility support. She works with women who are conceiving naturally and going through IVF. If you need help or would like to talk to her about how she can support you. Contact her here.