From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO…
In January, we started to talk about basal body temperature charting and some basic tips to get started. Basal body temperature charting is one of my favorite non-invasive tools to help patients conceive naturally and determine potentially undiagnosed fertility issues. I wish that I had made copies of every BBT chart that had led to a pregnancy from the start of my practice-it would make quite an art collage for the office!
As as a quick review, basal body temping is one of the least expensive (the cost is zero unless you need a new thermometer) ways to determine a significant amount of information about your body and your menstrual cycle without subjecting yourself to any invasive testing. A BBT chart can help you time conception, determine whether you are ovulating or pregnant, as well as trouble shoot common issues related to your cycle or conception that many have gone unnoticed or undiagnosed. For patients determined to conceive naturally or trying to troubleshoot their cycle, I recommend that they pick up a copy of Toni Weschler’s book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
Here’s a list of the basic tips to help you get you started:
- Take your temperature at the same time each morning
- Take it before you get out of bed, move, talk, or use the bathroom
- You must be sleeping for at least 3 hours to get an accurate temperature reading
- Note that your temperature will rise every ½ hour as you sleep later
- Heating pads, electric blankets, fevers, and drinking alcohol the night before will raise your temperature
- Note on your chart if there was any reason that you thought your temperature may not be accurate
- Circle your temperature on a graph each day or use one of the current smartphone apps
- Continue to take your temperature for the length of your cycle, beginning Day 1 of your menstrual period until the beginning of your next period
- Note on your chart when you start your period, have spotting, or cervical fluid
After a month of charting, you should be able to connect the dots to see the outline of a curve formed by a series of low points prior to ovulation and a series of high points following ovulation. This pattern should help you determine a significant information about your cycle including when you ovulate, the length of your luteal cycle (important for implantation), and whether you have fertile-like cervical fluid prior to ovulation as outlined in TCOYF.
If your BBT chart is difficult to decipher, I highly recommend that you take your chart to an acupuncturist or other medical professional familiar with trouble-shooting basal body temperature charts. Our bodies do not perform like robots, therefore, it is normal to have temperatures that are outliers but still considered part of a normal pattern. Someone that has looked at hundreds or thousands of basal body temperature will help you determine whether something is abnormal and eliminate the guess work for you.
Next week, we will discuss the wonderful world of cervical fluid and how it related to basal body temperature charting. Until then, happy charting!
Do you have more questions about BBT charts or acupuncture? Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more. Email email@example.com for more details.
Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO
Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.Acupuncture