Beyond Ovulation Prediction: What your BBT can tell you about your fertility.
Alarm sounds. Don’t move too much. Where is my thermometer? Waiting 30 seconds. Beep, beep, beep. Partner wakes up while you are waiting for the finish line.
Sound familiar? This is probably your life if you are TTC and tracking basal body temps. Millions of women track their Basal Body Temperature (BBT) every day for the purpose of predicting your ovulation, but do you fully understand what your BBT is telling you about your fertility?
Did you know that different hormones produce different thermal effects throughout your cycle and while some changes in your BBT are normal and perfectly healthy, including a fall and rise in temperature before and after ovulation, other significant day to day variations may indicate your body’s hormone function isn’t performing optimally.
There are a few simple things you can learn right now about using BBT to better understand your fertility.
“Tracking ovulation is great for fertile women who don’t know when to have sex.”
But unless you know how to diagnose the chart and what to do to correct it, it isn’t really that useful as a tool to improve your chances of getting pregnant. However, with the right insights and interventions, it can be incredibly valuable to to SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE YOUR FERTILITY.
It can be really difficult to get pregnant and predict ovulation if your cycle isn’t quite a regular 28- or 30-day cycle so using an ovulation chart tracker is a great way to help you understand the best time to conceive. BTW, you don’t need the best BBT thermometer there is to do this either. Just grab an inexpensive one from your grocery store or local pharmacy.
Your chart should follow an obvious biphasic pattern, low (around 97 ºF) in the first half of your cycle (follicular phase) and high in the second half (luteal). Start charting on the first day of your period, which is the beginning of the follicular phase. The second half of your cycle (luteal phase) begins when ovulation occurs. Then you’ll see a jump in temperature and it should stay high (around 98 ºF) throughout this phase until the start of your period or pregnancy occurs. If you are pregnant (yay) then your BBT will continue to go up and stay higher in the 98s, if you're not pregnant and your period begins, your BBT will go back down into the 97s.
For a large percentage of you (the one’s who are actually infertile), using an ovulation tracker is incredibly ineffective as the underlying causes of your infertility are likely to have your BBTs varying quite a bit from what we consider optimal.
Don’t give up though, as we can actually use these variations in your BBT to help determine the causes of your infertility. Our 20 years of clinical research has enabled us to use important information about your individual cycle, including your BBT, to pinpoint certain fertility disorders and correct them so that you can get pregnant.
One illustration women who experience cramping or extreme PMS symptoms like irritability, mood swings, back pain, anxiety, headaches and others, often chart a sawtooth BBT chart.
Another example is that women who experience recurrent miscarriage and have low progesterone typically chart low luteal phase temperatures versus the higher temperatures (or the heat) the body needs to prepare the uterine lining for implantation and sustain a growing pregnancy.
There is good news though. We have been diagnosing BBT charts for almost 2 decades now. Not only can we understand them better than almost anyone (we have trained most of the clinicians in the US.. and many across the globe), but our team is incredibly skilled at creating highly customized programs for our patients to correct the underlying issues, get the charts and cycles in great shape again and improve your fertility!
We hope to see you in the clinic soon! Want me to diagnose your BBT? Schedule your free 15min call wtih me to help you understand what your chart is telling you about your fertility and some things you can do to improve it!