Did you know that the likelihood of conceiving in one menstrual cycle (fecundability) of a woman is approximately 20-25% per cycle dependent on age? It’s important to keep this statistic in mind, as it reminds us that it can take months of consistency to successfully conceive. There are some important next steps for you in the meantime.
Have you confirmed that you are ovulating yet?
This cycle is the perfect time to confirm ovulation! An LH peak is a good predictive indicator that ovulation will occur, however utilizing basal body temperature tracking, also known as “BBT” in the fertility community, you can confirm that you truly did ovulate and that there is plenty of pregnancy-promoting progesterone around for when you do conceive!
It’s essential to confirm that you are ovulating because it is possible to get a positive LH peak without actually ovulating. If you aren’t pregnant yet, this is an important piece of information you can easily collect utilizing something as simple as a Basal Body Temperature Thermometer.
Confirm with BBT
Basal body temperature (BBT) is your body temperature at rest, and can only be accurately taken immediately when you wake up. BBT rises after ovulation, due to increased progesterone released from the corpus luteum after ovulation. The hormone progesterone actually has a thermal effect that raises your total basal body temperature when it is present in high amounts. Ovulation can be detected on a BBT chart, 1-3 days before the BBT spike.
Your body’s basal body temperature will spike 0.5-1ºF 24-36 hours after you ovulate and remain elevated until your next period, where it dips again -- or BBT will remain high if there is a pregnancy.
A “coverline” of your BBT will be drawn in your Premom chart directly above the last low temperature before the BBT spike. The purpose of this is to separate lower preovulatory temperatures from higher postovulatory temperatures so that the BBT spike can be more easily observed.
With successful ovulation you can expect to see lower temperatures in the first half of your cycle and higher temperatures in the second half of your cycle. This is what makes BBT an affordable and effective means of confirming ovulation!
How do I do it?
It’s best if you can record your temperature around the same time each morning, immediately upon waking. The more consistent you can be, the better! BBT is different from other fertility testing in that it needs to be done every single day, immediately upon waking, around the same time each day. It’s also important to note that you need at least 3 hours of undisrupted sleep before testing for best accuracy.
Moving (even just to go to the bathroom), talking or drinking water can all change the delicate reading.
What makes a BBT thermometer different than a regular thermometer?
BBT thermometers extend an extra decimal place, this allows for more detailed temperature readings than a standard oral thermometer. These little thermal shifts matter so make sure you are utilizing the proper tools.
Premom offers you multiple tools to predict and confirm your ovulation. Premom sells a Smart Bluetooth Basal thermometer that will automatically chart your temperature to the Premom app to ensure you increase your accuracy while testing.
Now you know how to confirm ovulation making you one step closer to conceiving that bundle of joy.
If you have been testing for awhile and are seeing some inconsistent patterns with ovulation tests, irregular cycles or no BBT spike, then it maybe time to dig deeper with a fertility specialist.
Dr. Patti Haebe is a results-obsessed naturopathic doctor. She specializes in pre-conception preparation, fertility and hormone optimization. She is committed to root-cause healing through therapeutic supplementation as well as targeted diet and lifestyle modifications. Her virtual practice, Ocotillo Integrative Medicine, provides integrative consultations worldwide via webcam for those looking to incorporate natural, proactive approaches to their healthcare and fertility journey. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Haebe right through your Premom app!