Getting to Know Your BBT and What It Really Means to Your Fertility
Wake up. Don’t forget not to move too much. Grab thermometer. Wait 30 seconds. Beep, beep, beep. Mate wakes up. You hope for the best. This is your life if you are tracking your BBT. You may be one of the millions of women tracking your 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? 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. So, how do you really know if your ovulation chart is right and it’s baby making time? 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
Now if you are fertile, but can’t seem to get pregnant or don’t know when the best time to have sex is because your cycle isn’t quite a regular 28- or 30-day cycle, then using an ovulation chart tracker is a great option in helping you understand the best time to conceive. You can track your basal body temperature (BBT), which is the temperature reading you take before you get out of bed in the morning, to understand the phases of your menstrual cycle and when you are ovulating. 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 BBT 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). Your BBT chart should start 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. When ovulation occurs, 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 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. There are a number of good, affordable, options out there that make it very easy to track your BBTs, including our partner, Kindara.
So, while tracking ovulation can work for women who are fertile, what about those of you who are part of the 6.9 million women diagnosed with infertility every year? For a large percentage of you, 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 a healthy Conceivable BBT chart. This doesn’t mean you should give up hope though, as we can actually use these variations in your BBT to help determine the causes of your infertility. Our 15 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.
A great example of this is that women who experience cramping or extreme PMS symptoms like irritability, mood swings, back pain, anxiety, headaches and others, often chart a sawtooth patterned 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.
The ideal BBT for conception
Our goal at Conceivable is to help you get as close to the ideal BBT as possible with a healthy menstrual cycle and reproductive system that will improve your chances of getting pregnant. What is an ideal BBT? What we like to see at Conceivable is an obvious biphasic BBT chart — that's a chart with low temperatures the first half of the cycle and high temperatures in the second half. Ideally your temperatures should be quite low during your follicular phase (the first half of your cycle before ovulation occurs, days 1-14) ranging from about 97.2 - 97.4 ºF. During the luteal phase, your BBT actually needs to be quite high and a healthy temperature will average around 98.2 ºF.
How to change your BBT to improve your chances of getting pregnant
Honestly, it takes an intervention to make a change to your BBT. As I mentioned previously, there are underlying causes of your infertility and charting your basal body temperature can help us gain important insight into what those root causes might be, but we have to look at the whole picture so we assess and make a plan to correct the actual fertility disorders, not just treat the symptoms. For example, if you’re suffering from cramping or extreme PMS and have a sawtooth BBT, these are all symptoms of a menstrual cycle that is being disrupted, but there is a strong likelihood you have a hormone imbalance causing these symptoms to present. The hormone imbalance could be a result of poor nutrition, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, stress, unstable blood sugar of other factors. Everything that happens in the body has a cascade effect, so when we address nutrition or stress or vitamin deficiencies or whatever the underlying problems may be, we can affect change to your BBT and increase your chances of getting pregnant and we’ve done this at Conceivable with great success.
Putting all the pieces together with the help of Conceivable
I know this is all fascinating, but what you really want to know is how Conceivable can solve your individual infertility issues. Well, you might say we’ve figured out the secret sauce to solving infertility issues, but really, it’s simple science and research.
Our online program, Conceivable, uses an algorithm based on our clinical research and the more than 7,000 women we’ve assessed and helped over the last 15 years.
That program enables us to assess your information and provide a conceivability score based on your BBT, menstrual cycles, PMS factors, diet, and lifestyle. This information is used to automatically create a customized program for one month with diet plans per the phases of your menstrual cycle, herbal formulas and wellness strategies to address your specific causes of infertility. After one month, the program reassesses your information, adjusts for the next month and enables you to make changes one step a time, reducing infertility issues and getting closer to a conceivable cycle and ultimately pregnancy.
Our goal at Conceivable is to empower all women that struggle with infertility with the affordable resources and tools to take back control of their fertility and achieve their dreams of a new baby.