Basal Body Temperature Charting Part I
From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO…
Many patients ask me about basal body temperature charting and whether they should try keeping a chart at home when trying to conceive. Basal body temping is one of the least invasive and 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. It's hard to believe that so much information can be determined just by using a thermometer and a piece of paper. If you have any doubts, pick up a copy of Toni Weschler's book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
What is BBT charting? It's the act of simply taking your temperature at approximately the same time every morning to help you chart your menstrual cycle. By doing so, you create a series of points on a graph that form a pattern helping you or a health practitioner familiar with BBT charts determine your best window to conceive. Even if you're not trying to conceive, creating a BBT chart for yourself can help to put yourself in tune with your body in a way that you haven't been before. Once you have a sense of your pattern, you can predict peak fertility times in your cycle and use this information to help conceive or avoid pregnancy. To make it even easier, there are several smartphone apps to help you along the way including one from Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
If you're just getting started, here are some basic tips to 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
Next week, we'll discuss what to look for on your BBT chart and how to analyze the data!
Do you have more questions about BBT charts or acupuncture? Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO
Jessica L. Molleur is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She first became interested in acupuncture as a soccer player searching for an alternative to knee surgery and discovered the many benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Jessica is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine and Chinese Herbology through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). She is also a Diplomate of Acupuncture Orthopedics, a specialty certification held by fewer than 500 acupuncturists in the United States.
Jessica currently maintains a private acupuncture practice in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, which was awarded Best Acupuncture Center by Boston Magazine. Areas of specialty include women's health, pregnancy, infertility, pediatrics, and sports medicine. If you are interested in learning about the benefits of acupuncture for fertility and IVF, please visit the acupuncture + fertility page. New patients can book online to schedule any acupuncture service including a complimentary consult. Jessica also serves as a health care consultant for a number of integrative medical institutes. Her clients include IVF and infertility centers, functional medicine offices, orthopedic facilities, concierge practices, and green spas. Please contact OMBE for more information about these services.
Prior to her consulting work, Jessica founded an integrative health center in Boston. The eco-friendly center was one of the first twenty-five companies certified as a Sustainable Business Leader in Boston. During its ten-year tenure, the center provided services including acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, naturopathy, nutritional counseling, personal training, Pilates, and yoga. Studio offerings included mom and baby programming, Mongan Method Hypnobirthing, natural childbirth education and the Holistic Moms Network. The center was the recipient of several awards, including Mayor Menino's Green Business Award, a multiple recipient of Boston Business Journal's Best Workplace, Boston Magazine's Best of Boston Award for Massage Therapy as well as Best Eco-Friendly Massage, Eco-Beauty Bar, Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Pilates, and Workout.