Is taking your temperature the best thing for your fertility?
BBT or Basal Body Temperature Charting is synonymous with fertility and trying to conceive. More often than not women start using this tool as a means to “Taking their fertility seriously.” Though I always wonder is this really the best way.
Here’s what I know, when done properly your BBT can be jam packed with info about your cycle, when you ovulate, what type of pattern it looks like. Chinese medicine has even been able to identify specific deficiency and excess imbalances from this info, so that you can better regulate the cycle and treat symptoms.
To take it properly so that the temperature is accurate you must:
• Take your daily temperature first thing upon awakening, before any other activity (going to the bathroom, talking on the phone etc.) Try to move as little as possible before and during
• Take your temperature orally or vaginally, but always in the same place.
• Take your temperature at the same time each day when you wake up, within a half hour either way of this time. If you take your temperature at any other time earlier or later it will not be an accurate read.
• Before taking your temperature, a minimum of 3 hours consecutive sleep must have been had
• An FYI, Alcohol, Illness and Poor sleep will alter your reading
I don’t know about you, but to me this is a lot of work and unless you are well trained to identify what all the subtleties that exist in your chart mean or are working with someone who is AND making the necessary changes in your lifestyle to alleviate symptoms you are wasting your time.
It sounds harsh, but taking your BBT and doing nothing else is like standing on the scale week after week having made no changes to your nutrition and exercise and expecting the number to be different. This type of “FOCUS” on your fertility will eventually only lead to frustration and isn’t getting you closer to your desire.
Working with my own clients I often recommend that most of them throw out their thermometers. I have other ways to assess their cycle and ovulation that I find way more empowering and connected to their body than having them take their temperature.
If they are insistent on doing this practice I have strict boundaries on how this tool can be of use to them.
• I ask that they only take their temperature for 3 months at a time and then take a break.
• We use it as a tool purely for exploration of imbalances, not as an indicator of ovulation or pregnancy
• They must note their symptoms and habits along-side their temperature, (did they have night sweats, were they really cold, did they have cramping, spotting or tenderness, did they drink a glass of wine or have poor sleep, and did they notice an increase in their libido to name a few)
Once we have an average look at their cycles which usually takes three, (one isn’t enough) then we have info to work with, the true value of this exercise is in them getting connected to their body and the info that this gives them is 10x more valuable than how their chart looks. Regardless, we put the thermometer away and continue the inner connection with the body and listening to what is required. If more time has passed and no pregnancy has occurred we evaluate if doing another round of BBT is necessary.
The reason I have this outlook, which is quite different from most natural fertility practitioners is because after working with hundreds of women, I have come to see that the information that they present is limited and more often than not a cause for greater stress and resistance in the body that limits the body’s capacity to receive. I have watched women become heartbroken, depressed and defeated merely because of what a temperature reading is day to day.
There is a better way, a more soulful way that can bring you peace, joy, connection and intuition to your baby making. I didn’t touch a thermometer while trying to conceive baby E and I look forward to showing how you can do this too with tips and actions in your inbox every week.