Maybe you’re new to this whole Trying to Conceive (TTC) thing, or maybe you’ve been around awhile, but either way you’ve probably seen the term “BBT” around the web. Basal Body Temperature is one of most basic ways to track your fertility, so I have put together this super simple post about the basics of BBT.
What Is Basal Body Temperature?
BBT (Basal Body Temperature) is the lowest point of your body’s temperature within a 24-hour period. It is recommended to take your temperature first thing upon waking in the morning, before you even get out of bed. (Moving from bed to the bathroom will rise your temperature just slightly!)
The BBT is taken with a special Basal Thermometer. (A Basal Thermometer is quicker and more accurate than your regular thermometer, going to a tenth of a degree – which helps when tracking for fertility purposes!)
It’s also important that your Basal Body Temperature be taken at a similar time each day. This insures that you’re getting a consistent result, and the small fluctuations can show when your body is ovulating.
What do I do with the BBT information?
So you’ve taken your temperature, you’ve likely written it down. But now what? There are countless ways to track your Basal Body Temperature. There are apps, printable charts, etc. (BabyCenter.com has a FREE PDF to chart your BBT! They also have a great example of a filled in chart!)
While I love paper for most things, I prefer to track my BBT on my phone. There are quite a few options for Apps – my favorite being Period Tracker, although I’ve only tried a few. (If you’re one who likes reviews? The Daily Dot has a great review “I used 4 fertility apps… and here’s what happened“)
So I have all these numbers, what do they mean?
Your BBT will remain fairly stagnate for the first part of your cycle. Although it can fluctuate slightly due to outside factors. (Illness, Anxiety, Irregular sleeping, Travel, Medications, Stress, Alcohol consumption, etc.) However, when you ovulate your BBT will increase slightly. (About 1/2 degree F or 0.3 C.) When your temperature remains steadily elevated for three or more days then ovulation has likely occured.
So when do we have sex?
When I first started reading about Basal Body Temperature I got annoyed – technically you’re supposed to have done the deed by the time your temperature rises! But of course, I wasn’t thinking far enough ahead! (I’m an instant satisfaction kind of girl!) After charting my BBT for a few months I could pick up patterns, I knew that I ovulated pretty much the same time each cycle. So planning our “Baby Dance” for the day before I am supposed to ovulate became routine in our attempts to conceive.
Do you track your BBT? Have any tips to share? I’d love to hear them, so please leave a comment!