What is a BBT Chart:
Basal Body Temperature (BBT) charting was first identified in the 1930s as a rhythm method of birth control. With the addition of monitoring cervical fluid and cervical positioning, the rhythm method of contraception upheld a 98% success rate. This newfound fertility awareness opened up a wealth of information to increase chances of pregnancy.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT) charting is called basal as it is measured at a time when the body is well rested and the body’s metabolism and temperature is at baseline. BBT charting serves many purposes, the most important of which may be to confirm ovulation and distinguish fertile times in a woman’s cycle.
In its simplest form, BBT charting consists of measuring your waking temperature daily, and recording it onto an app like (fertilityfriend).
At Gardenvale Chinese Medicine we use BBT charting to gather a range of information to assist us in helping diagnose and assist with fertility issues. We often ask that you BBT chart for us, for the best possible outcome, as it’s such a powerful piece of information for your fertility journey.
What does a BBT chart look like?
The chart pictured below is made with ‘fertilityfriend’. This is an app you can download for free on your phone. It is user friendly and has all the information practitioners need to assist you. It also allows you to record other symptoms such as cervical mucous and days of intercourse, to name just a few.
The chart pictured is known as biphasic. It indicates a full menstrual cycle and depicts two phases, the follicular phase and the luteal phase. The first phase is the follicular phase, which starts from day one of your period or the first day of proper bleeding, to ovulation around the middle. The luteal phase is that second half of the cycle.
Just as there is no perfect human being, there is no perfect BBT chart. We all have strengths and weaknesses, so it is important not to become too obsessed or focussed on it. Remember that the main purpose of the BBT chart is to indicate when you are ovulating but it will also assist practitioners in supporting your fertility journey to the best of our ability.
As TCM practitioners we are not just observing you’re most fertile days in the BBT chart, we are gathering a wealth of knowledge such as:
- your overall temperatures
- the quality of your fertile mucous
- days of intercourse
All of this information enhances our ability to assist you.
That being said there are several factors that can influence your BBT chart results:
How do you use a BBT chart?
- Simply start by downloading the free app ‘fertilityfriend’ on your phone.
- Purchase a good quality digital BBT thermometer around $10-$15 from the chemist
- Begin tracking each morning before you get out of bed
To use your thermometer, turn it on till it beeps and you can see the screen. Pop it in your mouth, same side each day, hold it in your mouth until the beep. Don’t talk, just take that temperature, and then you’ll get the reading, and log it onto your app on your phone.
What are the rules when BBT charting?
I cannot stress enough how important following the rules are. if you do not follow them, then it simply will not work.
- Minimum of 4 hours sleep: You need to have at least one block of 4 -hour sleep – no less. (if you are up for the kids or on night shift work then just make sure it’s 4 hours solid sleep before)
When you wake up:
- No drinking: (this includes coffee and water)
- Don’t eat
- No movement of any kind, as this will affect the reading. (Just roll over, take and record your temp
After a little while it will become second nature.
Written by Lexi Newman
Practitioner of Chinese Medicine