I have been learning so much about fertility awareness in the past few months and wanted to share some of what I’ve learned with all of you! The three aspects that are involved in the fertility awareness method are:
- Basal body temperature readings (your temperature when you first wake up in the morning)
- Cervical mucus quality
- Cervical position
In this post, I will be focusing on the basal body temperature because it is the simplest to understand and execute without a lot of training. Cervical mucus and cervical position are important, but are much more complex.
Taking your basal body temperature (BBT) is easy, but it’s important that it’s done correctly. Below I’ve listed a few rules for taking your BBT accurately.
- Take your temperature with a thermometer that measures to the 10th place (i.e 97.7 ºF)
- Use a thermometer that takes 30s-1 min to read (and leave it in your mouth for 10-min prior to taking a reading)
- Do not use a fever/ear/forehead/anal thermometer
- A vaginal temperature reading is advised for those that are mouth-breathers
- It’s very important that you take your temperature at around the same time each day, and to mark the time of day in your chart (Kindara makes this very easy, it records the time for you)
- The best time to take your temperature is between 5-8 am (even if you go back to sleep after). I personally take mine at 7:30 every morning.
- This basal reading reads your temperature when you first wake up this means: before you get up to pee, before you check your phone, before you take a drink of water, etc…). I have my thermometer right next to my bed and as soon as my alarm goes off, I put the thermometer in my mouth, get the reading and move on with my day
So now you have the temperature…what does it all mean? You will observe that in the follicular phase (the 1st part of your cycle) you will have lower temperatures, and that after ovulation, your temperature will spike and stay high for at least 3 readings to confirm that ovulation has occurred.
The temperature spikes because progesterone levels have increased. This information can be used in conjunction with cervical mucus and cervical position to determine when you are no longer fertile, which is useful whether you are using the method for birth control or for conception.
I am often advising clients to use this method as a means to better understanding their cycle. I suggest that clients record their readings in Kindara on their phone so that they can bring it in and show it to me each time they have a session.
So there you have the basics of taking your BBT!