BBT is an important part of fertility charting. The benefits of measuring your Basal Body Temperature each morning are:
1. You can see if you’re ovulating!
2. You can see WHEN you’re ovulating,
3. Once you’ve confirmed ovulation you’ll know when to expect your period (good for planning!)
4. You’ll be able to see if there are problems with your luteal phase that could make it hard for you to stay pregnant.
So as you can see, Basal Body Temperature is a great tool. But it only works if you get an accurate reading! Here’s how to measure your BBT for the best results.
Step 1: Get a digital thermometer that is accurate to 1/10th of a degree Fahrenheit or 0.05 degrees Celsius. Wink, Kindara's bluetooth basal thermometer, is highly accurate and automatically syncs your temperatures with the Kindara app. Learn more about Wink here.
Digital thermometers are usually accurate enough to catch the temperature shift - however, women who are not seeing a clear temperature shift using a regular thermometer may want to get a BBT thermometer, as they are slightly more accurate. The key is to get one that will get the job done, and that you like enough to actually use. If you hate the thing you won’t use it, so getting one you like is important.
Step 2: Keep it on your bedside table, on the side of the bed that you sleep on. Taking your temperature first thing in the morning is a habit that becomes second nature after a short while. Keeping your thermometer close at hand will make the habit much easier to create.
Step 3: When you wake up in the morning and are still laying in bed, (after at least 4 hours of good sleep) turn the thermometer on and put it in your mouth. It’s important to take your temperature as soon as you know you are awake and before doing anything else. Don’t do anything before taking your temp. This means no eating, no drinking, no getting up to pee, no smooching your sweetheart… all of those can raise or lower your BBT, and you need it to be accurate for best results.
Do your best to take your temp at the same time every day, if you take it earlier or later than usual this can affect your BBT, as temperatures tend to creep slightly higher the later you sleep.
Place the probe way back under your tongue, so the metal probe tip is as warm as possible. Now relax and wait till you hear it beep. It only take a minute at most, and for those of you who need an excuse to CHILL this is it. And remember, don’t get up out of bed and measure your temperature in the bathroom. Once you’re out of bed your BBT is already altered.
Step 4: Once you hear the thermometer beep, take it out of your mouth and have a look at the temp. Remember it, write it down, or put it in your chart. Most thermometers have a Last Temperature recall function. This comes in handy if you sleep in a dark room and can’t see the temp on your thermometer, or you don’t have your glasses on, or whatever.
Step 5: Shut it off and go back to sleep, or get up and start your day. Just make sure to get that temp into your chart before the day is through. :)
Problems! and Solutions!
- Annoying Beeping: There are some very annoying thermometers that beep every few seconds while you are measuring. If you have one and you’re worried it will wake up your sweetie, get a different one! (Side note: Wink does not beep, but rather vibrates softly in your mouth when it's done taking your temperature)
- Cold Room: Sleeping in a very cold room can cool down your thermometer and cause it to register lower temperatures (especially if it’s a fast-read model that measures in under 30 seconds) I find I get more reliable temps by warming the thermometer up before taking my temperature. To get the thermometer closer to your body temperature, you can warm it up by putting it under your body, Princess-And-The-Pea style, until it doesn’t feel cold to you anymore. Then turn it on and take your temp.
- I Have to Pee in the Middle of the Night!: If you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom it’s a good idea to take your temperature when you wake up, then go pee, then back to sleep. You can take your temperature again in the morning and see if there was a difference. Some women’s temps are more sensitive and can get thrown off easily, some not so much. Do some experimenting and find out what your pattern is. If you can get up at 4am and get a reading that’s the same as it is at 7am… no need to take your temp when you get up to pee at 4.
In conclusion, taking your basal body temperature is easy and incredibly useful. For good results, get a thermometer that measures to 1/10th of a degree (1/100th if you're charting in Celsius), that you don’t hate, take your temperature with it every morning before doing anything else, and keep a record of your temps on a chart! This will give you lots of awesome info and takes less than a minute a day.
How about you? Have any BBT related questions that I can possibly help with? I’d love to hear your experiences