We can gain more information about our menstrual cycle and ovulation by tracking basal body temperature (BBT). Read more below to find out what you’ll need, how to track BBT, and what to look for!
What You’ll Need:
1. Oral Thermometer – you can find a oral thermometer at a drug store or in the health section of a grocery store. Most thermometers will give readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.
2. Menstrual cycle app – this is so you can record your temperatures along with other information about your cycle all in one location. If you don’t have an App that’s ok, just jot down your temperature readings on your phone or a piece of paper.
How To Track:
1. Leave your thermometer on your nightstand so it is easy to reach in the morning.
2. Take your body temperature daily upon waking. This should be done before getting out of bed or moving around too much. This allows us to see your natural set-point. If you get up in the early morning to use the washroom and don’t take your temperature, you will need to lay back down in bed for at least 1 hour before taking your temperature.
3. Record your temperature in the app or jot it down.
What To Look For:
1. Prior to ovulation – body temperature should be lower (ex: 36.2 C, 36.5 C)
After ovulation – body temperature should be higher (ex: 37.0 C, 37.2 C).
2. Temperature increase of 0.4 C or higher.
3. Sustained body temperature increase for at least 3 consecutive days, ideally until your menstrual period. If you are trying to get pregnant, your body temperature should stay elevated after a missed period.
4. Ovulation occurs 24 hours before the body temperature increases.
Dr. Stephanie Liebrecht, BSc, ND Naturopathic Doctor