BBT Charting 101
Around the time of ovulation, your body rises in temperature about .4 degrees or more for several days. Tracking your BBT or Basal Body Temperature (temperature at rest) will, similar to cervical secretions, indicate when you've ovulated. However, the difference between BBT and Cervical Mucus tracking is that by the time your body has increased in temperature you have ALREADY ovulated. When you're body starts to produce fertile mucus, you are ABOUT to ovulate.
To track your Basal Body Temperature:
Each morning when your alarm goes off and BEFORE you hop out of bed, do nothing else besides reach for your thermometer and take your temperature. Record it on the BBT graph. If you take your temperature after getting up and going to the bathroom, your reading will be off, since your body’s temperature rises with movement.
After one month of charting between periods your chart will ideally look something like this:
If paper charting is not your thing, there are several good apps for charting your BBT. My two favorites are:
Note that many apps also allow you to record your cervical mucus (CM), and days you and your partner have intercourse -Take advantage of collecting as much information as you can so you start to firm up an understanding of which day of your cycle you ovulate.
BBT is best when done over several cycles so you can identify a pattern. Once you have 3 months worth of information, take the average day of your cycle that temperatures rise and adjust unprotected sex to five days leading up to that day.
Using the BBT chart to confirm pregnancy:
BBT is also useful to identify whether you are indeed pregnant. If you are not pregnant, your temperature will drop after ovulation in the 4th week. If conception has occurred, sustained levels of progesterone will keep your temperature consistently high without falling off.