Basal Body Temperature Bbt Method

The BBT method is based on the knowledge that most women have a slight increase in their normal body temperature just after ovulation. That's because your progesterone hormone levels increase with ovulation. This increasing progesterone level causes your temperature to rise, a least a little bit.

Here's how the BBT technique works. Every morning, first thing before you even get out of bed, you take your temperature and record it on a sheet of paper. Purchase a special thermometer (a BBT thermometer) at your local drugstore. A BBT thermometer is easier to use than a conventional thermometer because it has expanded and easy-to-read scale markings. BBT thermometers only register from 96 to 100 degrees F. These thermometers typically come with graph paper. If not, your doctor can provide you with blank BBT chart graph paper. Keep your BBT thermometer, your graph paper chart, and a pencil at your bedside. Take your temperature every single day, as soon as you awake, before getting out of bed or drinking or eating, and so on.

After two or three months, you'll likely be able to detect a pattern in your recorded temperatures. Hopefully, you'll notice that your temperature rises slightly after ovulation. Many women find that their temperature is somewhat lower during the first part of their cycle. Then it will typically rise slightly (between 0.4 and 0.8 degrees F) on the day of ovulation. Your temperature may stay elevated until just before the start of your next period. If you become pregnant, the temperatures typically continue to be elevated.

Figure 5.1 shows a sample of what a typical BBT chart might look like.

In this example, the woman probably ovulated on day 14. Notice that her temperature is approximately 0.5 to 1 degree higher during the last two weeks of her monthly cycle, after day 14. That's most likely because of the increased progesterone level after ovulation.

Your doctor will ask you to bring in a couple of months of your BBT charts for review. You and the doctor can discuss them and perhaps determine whether you are ovulating regularly. If you are ovulating regularly, it's essential that you have sexual intercourse on the days surrounding your most fertile time period.

Many women use this BBT method and find that it is fairly easy to perform. However, remember to do it exactly the same way every day, upon waking and before performing any activities. This is not always practical for all women. This

Figure 5.1. Basal Body Temperature Chart

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