How to track your basal body temperature

August 30, 2013 7:52 AM by

How to track your basal body temperature

The best time for you and your partner to have sex when you're getting ready for baby is when you're ovulating. However, knowing exactly when you're ovulating isn't always easy, which is why there are tests and calculators available to tell you. Tracking basal body temperature is one of the most popular ways to determine ovulation, and once you get used to the process, it's fairly simple to do. Here's how to track your basal body temperature. 

Your basal body temperature is your body temperature at rest, or your lowest body temperature throughout the day. You'll need a special kind of thermometer for this. In order to get an accurate reading, it's important to take it as soon as you wake up each morning, before doing anything else. You should also get in the habit of waking up at the same time each day so the temperature will be consistent. 

The point of the chart is to establish what your ovulation pattern looks like so you know the optimal time to have sex. Your basal body temperature rises slightly – by as little as one-tenth of a degree – a couple of days after you've ovulated, so once you determine when your temperature drops, you'll know that you ovulated two or three days prior. 

There are plenty of basal body temperature charts available to fill out online, print out or use as a reference for what yours should look like. If you're sick or aren't consistent with your readings, your chart may not paint the most accurate picture. Make a note of it in your chart if you don't sleep well or are ill at the time of your reading.

Monitor your cervical mucus
In addition to tracking basal body temperature, it can be helpful to also monitor your cervical mucus on the same chart. This will give you two factors by which to judge when you're ovulating. Hormone fluctuations will change the consistency and color of cervical mucus, indicating your peak fertility. When you start ovulation, days after your period has ended, the substance will likely be moist or sticky and fairly opaque in a white or cream color. When you're at your most fertile, it will be slippery like a lubricant and resemble raw egg whites. 

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