Ovulex Natural Fertility Supplement
Measuring Basal Body Temperature To Track Fertility

Hopeful parents might enhance their chances of becoming pregnant by preparing a basal body temperature, or BBT, chart to identify the woman's ovulation cycle. By knowing the ovulation cycle, the couple can judge when coitus, or sexual intercourse, is more likely to result in pregnancy.

BBT is the lowest temperature of the body after waking and before physical activity. Even though the temperature is measured upon waking, it is a bit higher than the average BBT. A BBT thermometer is needed to take accurate BBT readings because the specialized device records body temperature to one tenth of one degree.

A woman's body temperature decreases during the first part of the menstrual cycle. Typically, BBT then rises during ovulation and remains higher throughout the second part of the cycle, just before the menstrual flow begins. Recording BBT daily will show when ovulation probably occurs. During ovulation, BBT increases 0.5 to 1.0 ºFahrenheit (0.25--0.50 ºCelsius). A woman has a lower temperature before ovulation and a higher temperature afterwards. This is known as a biphasic pattern. Using a BBT thermometer, the pattern can be used as a tool to determine fertility rate.

BBT registers when the body is completely at rest. If measured orally, BBT may register around 96--98 ºF (35.5--36.6 ºC). Before ovulation, a temperature of 97--99 ºF (36--37 ºC) is considered normal. Temperature fluctuations occur by fractions of a degree, typically 0.1--0.5 degree. As the woman begins to learn more about her body by charting temperatures daily, she will recognize patterns of rising and falling temperature. Changes can occur either suddenly or gradually and may vary each cycle.

To be able to gather reliable and meaningful BBT readings, it is important to take the temperature at the same time every day. Even with lack of sleep from frequent upsets during the night, the woman should take her temperature at the same time. Also, keep in mind that if the temperature is being taken orally, eating and drinking affect temperature for a certain period of time, so take temperatures before eating food or drinking anything.

Another way of describing the average temperature is "coverline." Body temperature during ovulation should stay above the coverline for a little less than two weeks, or approximately 12 days. A temperature lower than the coverline may indicate a short luteal phase defect or luteal phase.

Timing of coitus is also affected by the fact that sperm can fertilize an egg two or three days after intercourse. In some instances sperm can remain active for five days or more. The woman can become impregnated from intercourse several days before ovulation. Thus, the combination of the life duration of sperm and BBT thermometer may improve pregnancy rate.

In addition to charting BBT, the woman should be looking for signs of pregnancy. A high temperature for 18 consecutive days could indicate fertilization of the egg. A third rise in temperature, about seven to 10 days after ovulation, is called a triphastic chart. This may indicate pregnancy, even though this is not a definite sign. Some women who experienced a triphasic chart have not become pregnant.

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