Ready to Conceive
Charting Your Basal Body Temperature

Basal Body Temperature

Now that you are ready to start a family, it’s time to get down to business. However, there is really more to it than just what the birds and the bees do. Taking a proactive step in maximizing all your powers to conceive requires you to know more about your body and the optimal conditions you can take advantage of.

Apart from maintaining a healthy lifestyle and well-balanced, nutritious diet, paying attention to your body’s biorhythm can greatly increase your chances of winning the baby lottery. Your body really has ways to convey its fertile state, giving you and your hubby the wink-wink-nudge-nudge to start procreating.

One way of nailing the exact right time to make a baby means scientifically measuring and carefully charting your basal body temperature.

 

What is basal body temperature?

Your basal body temperature (BBT) is the lowest body temperature you have in a 24-hour period. It’s best to take it first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. Use a basal thermometer that shows the tiniest degree changes that a regular thermometer doesn’t and take readings at the same time every morning.

cycle

Basal Body Temperature rises at the start of ovulation.

The tiniest degree change matters. During your monthly menstrual cycle, two hormones play an important role in fertility. During the follicular first half of the cycle, the “cool” hormone estrogen shows up and helps your ovaries produce the egg that is released when you are ovulating. Your body is a little cooler than when your body enters the second half of your cycle, the luteal phase. Progesterone, the “warm” hormone, supports gestation and is responsible for preparing the body to receive a fertilized egg. Your basal body temperature goes up two to three days after ovulation, a sure sign that your body is biologically ready with a mature egg.

 

What is charting?

Monitoring your monthly cycle with your BBT through a chart for a few months would show a pattern that will enable you to determine and predict the best time to get pregnant. However, if you are sick or if you don’t take your temperature as soon as you wake up, your chart may not be as accurate.

BBT charting also gives you valuable info if you are having infertility issues. If a few phases of your monthly cycle are too short or too long, it may be an indication of a hormonal imbalance or some other problem. A handy chart could help your doctor immediately determine the best course of treatment or therapy for you.

chart 2

 

When to have sex?

The emerging pattern on your chart will help determine your next most fertile period. This is typically about five days long, from three days before ovulation until one day after. You can even start earlier than your predicted fertile stretch and have sex every other day during this time for the best shot at conceiving.

Feel free to download and print our sample chart and blank chart to start you on your way! Need help? Check out Fertility Friend (http://www.fertilityfriend.com/), a free online resource and charting service that makes keeping track a lot less intimidating.

Now that you know when you’re most fertile, you’ll know when to spread out the silk sheets, light the candles, and pop the champagne!

 

Photo credits: http://www.ovulation-calculator.com/luteal.htm

 


Philippine Association for Childbirth Education

Imagine Nation Photography


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