Top 5 questions about taking your temperature when charting

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An important aspect of fertility charting, is of course the thermometer! At first you may think it is as easy as sticking a thermometer in your mouth, and although that is basically it, as you go along some questions may be popping into your head. In this blog post I am answering 5 of the most common questions I get about temping.

Now let’s get into those questions.

Taking and charting your BBT is not hard!

1. Should I take my temperature orally or vaginally?

Take your pick! Yes, some people say it is better to temp vaginally because sleeping with your mouth open can affect readings when you temp orally, but if you are squeamish about it, start orally.
Whether you choose orally or vaginally though, keep it consistent (I’m sure you will want to keep it consistent…erm..awkward).
If your readings vary a lot when you choose the oral method, and you are careful to take your temperature before moving around and at the same time every morning, then temping vaginally may give you more consistent readings. To temp vaginally, just enter the tip into your vagina (no need to lose it down there) and wait for the beep.

2. Does it really matter so much that I temp before I get up? I have a difficulty remembering to do it!

Yes it does matter, you need your temperature at rest; your Basal Body Temperature. Some women find it useful to lay the thermometer on their phones before they go to sleep, because their phone tends to be the first thing they grab on waking.
Should you already have been driven out of bed by a crying child or a full bladder, then do temp as soon as you remember and tick the box “questionable temperature” if you use Kindara. Also mark this box if your temperature could be off because you are ill, have traveled overnight, had several glasses of alcohol the night before, or slept very poorly. In Fertility Friend the temperature is automatically shown as an open circle instead of a closed on if you tick any box that could affect your reading.

3. Do I really need to take my temperature every day?

Initially, yes. I recommend that you take your temperature every day for at least 3 cycles. After that you can decide to start a few days before suspected ovulation so you can pick up on the temp rise and stop after 3 days after temp is confirmed up. It can however be useful to continue until you have a temperature drop so that you can prepare for your period. Especially if you are trying to conceive it is tends to be easier to deal with the disappointment of not being pregnant when you see a temperature drop than by getting a negative pregnancy test.

4. Once my temperature has gone up, my fertile window has closed right?

That’s right. However… remember that a single reading is not enough to confirm ovulation. So if you are trying to conceive, keep making love at least daily until you have about 3 elevated readings so you are sure that you ovulated.
If yo are trying to conceive, your chances are best a few days before ovulation so you will especially want to know when your fertile window opens. If you want to learn this, sign up to the “Basics to Fertility Charting” course that I have put together for you.

Please note that if you want to chart to avoid pregnancy, it is important to very clearly know what you are doing because this method is only reliable if perfectly executed! Make an appointment to get help with interpreting your chart and use barrier contraceptives such as condoms or abstain in the mean time.

5. I will be traveling to a different time zone (or this weekend Daylight Saving Time Starts), should I adapt my temperature reading(s)?

Nope. Stick to the same time you always take your temperature. The first day in the new time zone (or when you go from summer time to winter time or vice versa), you may see that your temperature is affected but the overall charting pattern can still be seen when you have several readings.

You can also sign up to the free “Basics to Fertility Charting” course where a whole lesson is dedicated to taking your temperature.