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How to Chart Your Basal Body Temperature and Detect Ovulation

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Updated April 09, 2014

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Other Signs and Details to Note on a Basal Body Temperature Chart

Basal body temperature charting is a great way to see if and when you are ovulating, but it's not so great at predicting ovulation. Your temperature will only rise and remain elevated after ovulation. By then, the time for sex that has a higher likelihood of resulting in pregnancy will have passed.

For this reason, you should also track your cervical mucus changes on your chart.

Here are some other things you may want to record on a BBT chart:

  • Days You Have Sex: This will help you and your doctor see if you're timing intercourse right. There are only five to seven days within each cycle when it's possible for sex to lead to pregnancy; ideally, the two to three days right before ovulation are best. You don't want to miss your window of opportunity.

    Another reason for charting when you have sex is to show how often you're having sexual intercourse. If male factor infertility is an issue, having sex every day may decrease your chances for pregnancy. On the other hand, having sex just once within the approaching days to ovulation may not be enough. Read more about how often to have sex.

  • Cervical Position: Besides tracking your cervical mucus, you can also track your cervical position to help predict ovulation. Your cervix will become higher, softer, and more open as ovulation approaches. After ovulation, the cervix becomes more firm, lower, and closed (or partially closed).

  • Illness, Stress, or Difficulty Sleeping: Even a relatively benign cold can mess with your BBT charting. If sinus congestion forces you to sleep with your mouth open, for example, your temperature may be thrown off. Also, poor sleeping habits can skew the results.

  • Ovulation Predictor Kit Results: If you're also using an ovulation predictor kit, or any other form of ovulation prediction such as a saliva ferning kit, you should mark down these results on your chart.

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