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Understand Your BBT
During the first part of your menstrual cycle, your basal body temperature (BBT) will be lower. This first half of your cycle is called the follicular phase. At this time, your ovaries are preparing for ovulation by developing follicles within the ovary which contain the egg. Right before the egg is released from the ovary (also called ovulation), some women experience a very slight drop in temperature. If this is the case for you, you are going to want to have intercourse as soon as you notice this drop.
Immediately after the egg has been released from the ovary, there will be a sharp rise in temperature. This signals that you are entering the luteal phase of your cycle, or the time after ovulation has occurred. By the time you notice this temperature increase, you have already ovulated. This is why it's important to chart your BBT for several months so you can notice trends and get to know how your body works so you know when time intercourse.
How Will I Know if My BBT Has Risen?
What you are looking for is a temperature rise of about 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit or more. If ovulation has occurred, your temperature will remain higher. If your temperature remains high for more than three days, you can assume you have ovulated.
What If I Don’t See MY BBT Increase?
Some women don’t experience a temperature shift. If you don’t see a temperature shift after a couple of months of charting, talk with your doctor. He or she will most likely run some blood tests during your cycle to determine whether or not you are ovulating.
What If I Still Don’t Get Pregnant?
Any single BBT chart will probably not get you pregnant. The benefit of BBT charting is looking at trends over the course of several months so you can better understand your menstrual cycle and pinpoint when you ovulate each month.
As a result, if you have irregular menstrual cycles that vary in length month-to-month, BBT charting will not be as effective. Women with irregular cycles should always consult with a health care provider to figure out why their cycles are irregular.
If you have charted your BBT for several cycles and have not achieved pregnancy or are concerned, talk with your doctor. Bring your BBT charts with you as they will be helpful in showing ovulation trends and determining if there are any problems.