What your Basal Body Temperature Can and Can't Tell You About Your Fertility
Description: Today’s episode is going to uncover what your basal body temperatures can and can’t tell you about your fertility. There is a ton of information regarding this topic, so by the time you are done listening to today’s episode, I want you to feel confident and motivated about tracking your BBT and working with your practitioner on what it means for you. We will talk about why you should take your temperature, how to do it and then track it correctly, how to use the different methods to your advantage, and the benefits that come from tracking it.
To share your own fertility story, please email me at email@example.com. I look forward to connecting with you, as you are what this podcast is all about.
[2:14] When it comes to tracking BBTs or what is known as Basal Body Temperatures, I’ve had two main teachers — Jane Littleton and Kirsten Karchmer from Of Conceivable. Both are a wealth of information when it comes to using and INTERPRETING this technique.
[2:57] Many times when a patient comes to my office they have done BBT in the past and are fed up either with the stress it causes or they have no idea how to read it. This leads to them wanting to dismiss doing it all, or maybe they have had an MD of some sort tell them that it’s pointless and they should move on to something like IUI or IVF if they want results. I’m here to tell you that’s not always the case.
[4:12] When a woman walks into my office with 3-6 months of charts either on paper or in an app I know in all likelihood she has just sped up her chances of conceiving with Chinese Medicine. This is also a way I know how and when to fine tune her herbs, recommend lifestyle and diet adjustments and even when there is a greater chance of miscarriage after a positive pregnancy test. This gives many women increased peace of mind that they able to keep an eye on the miracle that is unfolding within them without any invasive treatments. The other positive reason I recommend charting your temps is that it can be greatly empowering to understand what is having an effect on your body, like alcohol, caffeine, or even certain foods.
[8:17] Calendar rhythm method: Consists of using past menstrual cycles to estimate the time of your ovulation. When used on its own, this is the least reliable method of birth control. It should be avoided if your menstrual cycles are shorter than 26 days or longer than 32 days.
[8:42] Temperature method. You track your BBT for several cycles by using a very sensitive basal thermometer to take your temperature before you get out of bed each morning. Due to hormonal surges, your BBT goes up right after ovulation.
[9:10] Cervical mucus method. You track the color, thickness, and texture of your cervical mucus to monitor your fertility. Your cervical mucus becomes thinner, slippery, and stretchy when you ovulate. Tracking your cervical mucus will require some practice.
[10:14] I cover how to take your BBT:
- Take your daily temperature first thing upon awakening, before any other activity (going to the bathroom, talking on the phone, etc). The exception is 16 seconds of focused breathing referenced in episode 22.
- If using a digital thermometer, wait about 30 seconds until it beeps. Keep the receipt and return if you think the battery is faulty.If using glass, leave it in 5 minutes.
- You can take your temperature orally or vaginally, but always make it from the same place. Pick one and stay with it.
- Try to take it at the very same time each day right when you wake up.
- Make sure you get a minimum of 3 hours consecutive sleep before you take the temperature.
- If you use a glass thermometer, shake it down the day before.
- If you wake up at 5 and then plan to get up at 7, take your temperature at 5, when you wake up. Most digital thermometers will keep the temperature on it until the next use.
[14:38] When charting your temperature, you can use paper or an app. Some that I like are Fertility Friend, Conceivable, and Glow. If the temperature falls between two numbers on a glass thermometer, always take the lowest. Make dots on the appropriate temperature and connect the dots with straight lines. Note events such as stress, or illness in the miscellaneous row. Temperatures taken late should be noted in the ‘time taken’ row.
[16:36] We cover what BBT tracking can and cannot do. It cannot tell you about your partner’s fertility, nor is it great at predicting ovulation.
[17:50] Don’t freak out if you don’t get every single day. As a practitioner. I am looking for the average in the follicular and the average in the luteal phase. It takes about one season (3 months) of working with someone to make a 50% increase in their chances of fertility.
[19:57] We cover the bleeding, follicular, ovulation and luteal phases and what I look at within each one.
[25:18] If temps are at 98.2 in the luteal phase, your miscarriage chances will drop from 30 percent to 5 percent the following cycle.
[29:16] I go over some patterns that we see in BBT and the phases, and how I as a practitioner use this information to work with the patient.
[34:12] One reason someone wouldn’t want to track their BBT is when they are taking progesterone supplements, as it affects the temperatures and if it stresses you out completely my suggestion is to meditate directly after. And if that’s still too much for you or you travel a lot or you aren’t able to wake around the same time most days due to life constraints I encourage you to check out the AVA Woman.
Continue Your Journey with Referenced Links:
Jade Ashtanga retreats- join me this summer and receive one complimentary coaching session prior
Guide to Cervical Mucus episode 23
@ladypotions4u on Twitter
@ladypotions4u on Instagram