Many women observe their signs of fertility through a method known as basal body temperature charting. This method can help women better understand their own fertility cycles, as well as what is “normal” for their bodies. Charting can be very helpful for women to pinpoint the best time for them to get pregnant as well. Charting your basal body temperature, however, isn’t always as easy as it might seem, and takes some work. Here are some tips to help your be more successful at charting your basal body temperature.
Use online charting programs
There are a large amount of online programs that will allow you to chart and record not only your basal body temperature, but dates of periods and intercourse, and results of pregnancy and ovulation tests as well. One of my favorite sites to use is Femilia, but another much more popular site is Fertility Friend. These sites are easily accessible and allow you to track and store your data and information while automatically graphing your temperatures for you. Some programs even predict what your future cycles will look like as well.
Take your temperature at the same time
When monitoring your basal body temperature, it is important to take your temperature around the same time every day. Your temperature can shift fractions of a degree throughout the day, and these subtle shifts can affect how your chart reads. If possible, take your temperature around the same time, every day.
Your basal body temperature should be taken before you even move. Don’t sit up to take your temperature, or even roll over. This can affect your readings. Make sure to keep your basal thermometer within arm’s reach, such as on a night stand, and take your temperature immediately, before moving much. While you’re waiting for your temperature reading, move as little as possible.
Get enough sleep
Your basal body temperature should only be taken after you’ve been resting and still (such as when you are sleeping) for three or more consecutive hours. If for some reason you weren’t able to rest well, or found yourself tossing and turning, take your temperature anyways, but make a note of it on your chart, as the movement may affect your temperature readings.
Don’t eat, drink or smoke
Lastly, don’t eat, drink or smoke prior to taking your basal body temperature. Drinking, eating and smoking may change the temperature inside of your mouth and alter your readings. To avoid inaccurate readings, take your temperature prior to eating, drinking or smoking.