Charting Basal Body Temperatures

I write this post in the sense of having a conversation with a girlfriend- a girlfriend who is starting to think about trying for a baby. I want to make that clear.

Charting your body temperature is, quite possibly, the most noninvasive, low commitment way to determine your body’s cycle to increase your odds of getting pregnant.

There are many women out there who have tried this and have to enlist more involved methods and seek medical help.

But, I wanted to share this, as it’s worked for my husband and I twice now- as well as many other pregnancies friends of mine have had.

We were first introduced to the idea of Natural Family Planning (NFP) at our pre-marriage church retreat. While a lot of NFP seems to be intimidating to many people, it shouldn’t be! And if you aren’t a religious person, that shouldn’t stop you from charting your temperature.

I’m not a doctor, so I will just explain to you what I know about charting your body temperature and how it relates to your ovulation.

Basal body temperature is your body’s morning temperature before you get out of bed. It stays relatively the same throughout the month. Upon ovulation, your temperature spikes and remains elevated until you get your period- or will stay elevated if you are pregnant.

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The commitment is small. You’ll need to purchase a basal thermometer- all drugstores should carry one. Be sure that you get one with a display temperature with two decimal places, like 97.43. Then, you’ll take your temperature orally each morning at the same time before getting out of bed and chart the temperature on a chart. Here’s a printable chart, but most thermometers will come with a chart enclosed.

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In order to use this chart to get pregnant, you’ll want to get busy on the days leading up to and after you notice your temperature spike. Likewise, you can chart your temperature and abstain during your ovulation temperature spike to prevent pregnancy.

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Here’s a sample chart from Baby Center

It is helpful to track your monthly temperatures over time so you can compare what your cycles look like month to month. For example, many ‘generic’ fertility predictors assume a 28 day cycle with ovulation happening on day 14. That may be the norm, but many women don’t have a textbook cycle. My cycle that my son was conceived- 56 days long. I didn’t ovulate until day 41. But I wouldn’t have known that if I weren’t charting my temperature!

If you’re looking for a book to read for more information on the topic, I 100000% recommend Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. It is incredibly informative and eye opening.

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Again, this is a helpful method for women to track when their body is ovulating so that they may try to get pregnant.

Do you chart your basal body temperature? Has it helped you get pregnant? Share your experiences with our readers in the comments below! 

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Tom and Lauren Tate met each other in college and fell in love (there may or may not have been alcohol involved). Years later, they got married, had a baby and now live happily in Southeastern PA with their little boy. Lauren manages the home, while Tom manages projects at a software company. While their interests range from cooking and working out (her) and playing guitar and video games (him), together they manage to maintain a blog, Little Old Home (www.littleoldhome.com).

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