Ovulation Chart - Hot Time Tonight?

It's tricky, but not impossible for a woman to know her body and the best time for getting pregnant. One of the oldest tricks in the book for predicting ovulation is taking your basal body temperature. A few months of charting your temperature can give you a good idea of when you should start trying to make a baby.

Don't Move

Basal body temperature is measured as soon as you are awake and before you undertake any physical activity. The thermometer should be waiting next to your bed. Ovulation makes a woman's basal temperature rise anywhere from between one quarter to one half of a degree Celsius. The lower temperatures just before ovulation and the higher temperatures after ovulation are known as the biphasic pattern. Fertility awareness is achieved through many components, and basal temperature is one of the most effective ways to be aware of the workings of your body.

Higher levels of estrogen during the pre-ovulatory or follicular phase of the menstrual cycle cause a lower basal body temperature (BBT). Higher levels of progesterone released after ovulation raises the BBT. This rise in temperature is most often seen the day after ovulation. BBTs can give an accurate estimate of the three day range in which ovulation might occur.

Should pregnancy fail to occur, there will be a drop in BBT that coincides with menstruation. In the event that pregnancy does occur, high BBTs are maintained throughout the first trimester of the pregnancy. At this time, BBTs drop to a woman's pre-ovulatory normal.

Sometimes BBTs are elevated for reasons other than pregnancy. For instance, a cyst can both cause elevated BBTs and prevent menstruation until such time as the cyst is dissolved or removed. This may take several weeks or even months.

Most women with regular menstrual cycles believe they ovulate at the expected time, or 14th day of the cycle. It's important to note that regular and irregular cycles may exist irrespective of the day of ovulation. Some women with regular cycles may not be ovulating and others may have a defect in the post-ovulatory or luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, making it difficult to sustain a pregnancy. Recording the basal body temperature may help to inform a woman about her cycle, and this knowledge may lead to the ultimate goal of conception.

False Negatives?

False negative results on pregnancy tests tend to occur during the first week or two after ovulation. Knowing your BBT can prevent you from taking a test too early. Keep in mind that an elevated BBT over a period of 18 days suggests a woman is pregnant.   

For help keeping track of your basal body temperature, then find out more about the digital basal thermometer.

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