How To Take Basal Body Temperature?

How to take basal body temperature? You should use a thermometer for taking basal body temperature. Be uniform with the manner and time of recording the BBT. Charting BBT can either be a manual log or using any of the fertility apps.

Why is it important to know how to take basal body temperature?

Basal body temperature is crucial for timing ovulation. When you want to get pregnant fast, the first advice is to start with charting basal body temperature. But before that, you’ve to understand how to take basal body temperature.

Basal body temperature and pregnancy (or BBT and implantation) connections are more complicated to understand. The key to being able to chart or record basal body temperature accurately is to know what is basal body temperature.

How To Take Basal Body Temperature?
How To Take Basal Body Temperature?

What is the basal body temperature for women?

Basal body temperature is the temperature of your body when you are at rest. All the normal processes like digestion, breathing, and others go on every time. They generate and consume energy, and in the process, there is a production of body heat. When you are sleeping all these processes, attain a basal level. During this time the body temperature is BBT.

One can record this after getting up before indulging in any activity. You must register the temperature just after waking up and keep all things ready at your bedside.

Basal body temperature for women is like the planner for timing their sexual activities for avoiding pregnancy or conceiving. During ovulation, the skyrocketing LH hormone and changes make the BBT rise by a degree or half. This rise is basal body temperature reading helps find the most fertile days of the month.

Implantation dip is also entirely dependent on the rise of basal body temperature after implantation. However, the implantation dip is not a very reliable indicator of pregnancy.

How to take an accurate basal body temperature?

The most important thing to remember while taking the basal body temperature is to keep still and be regular. Once you do some work, even if insignificant as getting up and walking a bit your BBT reading changes. 

Another thing you must not be careless about is your regularity of taking BBT readings. Even a single day missed can ruin the entire activity. Even you can estimate that roughly your ovulation must be around this date you must still take BBT every day.

Take a reading of basal body temperature before getting up

When you decide to start taking accurate basal body temperature reading for the next one month, give a time slot to it. Keep all things in your drawer next to your bed. 

All things should be ready so that you don’t have to move to get basal thermometer or diary. The best time to take basal body temperature is your normal waking up time. Don’t get up early for that purpose, because then you may not be able to maintain that time.

Maintain a record of basal body temperature every day

Maintain a record of basal body temperature every day
Maintain a record of basal body temperature every day

Even if you have a digital thermometer which can record and store the readings keep a record. The backup will help you be less dependent on electronic devices and keep things handy. 

A basal thermometer is specially meant for this purpose. You can get one of the regular thermometers also. 

If you are careful while taking basal body temperature, then it won’t make much difference whether you use a digital thermometer or regular one.

Tips for accurate basal body temperature reading

1) Use a digital thermometer

When you get up from sleep, you know what happens. Drowsy eyes and unlike men you don’t feel all energetic. When you are taking basal body temperature, it is best that you lay in your covers and record the temperature. 

Stretching or getting up can alter that actual reading. A digital thermometer is not very different from a regular one but will help you in the long exercise. It’s not about a day. You might not get success in the first month and will have to repeat the process next month. 

A digital thermometer will make it easier and you’ll take an accurate basal body temperature reading.

2) Record temperature at the same time of day

Though we are already talking about recording temperature after getting up, still you need to fix a time. The time of taking the basal body temperature should be nearly the same every day. 

If you have a routine of getting up, then it will go along. Otherwise, you must first decide a time best suitable and take the temperature every day at the same time.

3) Sleep well before taking a reading of BBT

Stress or fatigue can affect your body processes. Make sure that you sleep well before taking BBT reading. Even if you get up during night hours, don’t take the reading then. You need to be at ease while charting basal body temperature.

4) Maintain a record

Even if you have a digital thermometer backup, don’t rely on it. Maintain a record of the readings. You need first to establish your body temperature ranges. Everyone has a specific body temperature that will be around 37° C., but that is an average as human body temperature which can vary. So you must first note the temperature range in which your body temperature shuttles. You can decide a scale or use excel sheet for plotting a graph of BBT vs. time in days.

5) Do not skip any day for measuring basal body temperature

The biggest mistake while recording BBT is neglecting the importance of taking a reading every day. If you start near your expected ovulation, you might not be able to distinguish normal fluctuations from the actual rise. The rise of BBT during ovulation is not more than a degree. You need to record the temperature every day. You might see such ambiguities and will have to analyze the BBT chart. Any irregularities in the BBT which should not differ too much near ovulation time are of importance.

6) Keep everything you need next to you previous night

It seems an easy thing to record temperature every day. But when you do it, you will realize how many times you forget it when you wake up stressed about your work. Set a reminder and keep everything near you the night before. 

Don’t pick the pen, diary, glasses, and thermometer from the place. Keep these things separate solely for this work.

7) Measure the temperature of the same area

You can record BBT by putting the basal thermometer in the armpits or under your tongue. Whatever you decide, don’t change the area and record BBT from the same place for the next 28-30 days.

8) Do not eat or drink or move before taking a reading

Avoid drinking even a glass of water, nothing that could disturb the state of rest. Even if you have some ongoing prescriptions or detox pills, you must keep it for later.

9) Look for every slight change in BBT

Don’t take the reading and then think that you’ll note it later. You should note it down as it appears even if it is not what you expected.

10) Mention factors that affect basal body temperature

Use a pencil if you are plotting a chart to write down factors such as flu or fever. Stress, overworked, illness or any medicines all need to go on that chart.

Basal body temperature for pregnancy

While basal body temperature will help you a lot for determining ovulation, it won’t be of much help for pregnancy.

When you are pregnant, you need to observe a triphasic pattern of BBT. Since noticing a slight rise in BBT seems so tricky, a triphasic pattern is a far possibility.

Can you confirm pregnancy using basal body temperature reading?

A woman who is long being charting her basal body temperature will be able to make out any changes. She can detect pregnancy if there is a fall in BBT before ovulation followed by a rise and then restoring normal BBT.

Basal body temperature FAQs

What is basal body thermometer?

Basal Body Thermometer
Basal Body Thermometer

A basal body thermometer is just like any other thermometer. The scale of this thermometer is around the range of BBT that is 96 -100 F. It is larger and allows one to record BBT orally or from the vagina.

How can I take my basal body temperature?

You can take your basal body temperature by recording the temperature before getting up. Do not indulge in any activity before taking the reading. You must allow the basal thermometer to stay at the recording region for 5 minutes or as it says. Jot down the temperature in your diary.

How can I chart basal body temperature?

You can either manually chart the temperature or use any graph making software to make a chart. Just put the dot honestly, and you’ll see a pattern. You can even get a BBT chart from your gynecologist and record temperature on it.

When do I know ovulation by basal body temperature?

During ovulation, the basal body temperature rises by a degree or half. Most women record around 96-97 F before ovulation and 97.5- 98 F on the day of ovulation.

The pattern of BBT varies from a person based on many factors and can even vary during a cycle. If you are on birth control and then you stop, your BBT pattern can change.

How to check whether basal body temperature reading is accurate?

When you see a pattern and nearly similar readings you will know that you are doing it right. 

Alcohol, smoking, sexual intercourse, stress, illness, etc. can affect the accuracy of charting basal body temperature. 

If you don’t see any pattern or get haphazard readings, then you need to check your method of taking BBT.

Despite the popularity of this method it is not well understood by most women. You need to have sex before ovulation to be able to conceive. 

During the fertility period, chances of getting pregnant are maximum when you have sex day before period. So charting basal body temperature for beginners will not lead to pregnancy. 

You need to understand and predict ovulation date using basal body temperature. Probably in the next cycle when you are aware of the time of ovulation, you’ll have higher chances of getting pregnant.

 Similarly, those who take basal body temperature to detect pregnancy will be able to do so if they already know their BBT pattern.


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