Charting Guide and Q&A

Discussion in 'Trying To Conceive' started by leeaman7777, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. leeaman7777

    leeaman7777 Active Member

    Charting Guide and Q&A

    BBT charting, is a method of ovulation detection that requires you to take your temperature every morning and record the results on a chart, it is an easy and inexpensive way to track ovulation.
    Some women find BBT charting empowering, while other women feel that it is more stressful than helpful. It’s easy to get worried about slight variations in your temperatures, or feel like you can’t get up at night to use the bathroom “in case it’ll ruin your temp” for the morning.
    Personally, I find BBT charting very helpful for myself. I’ve learned more about my body by charting my cycles than I ever would have known without doing so. I also love that I can predict when I will get my period.

    * Take your temperature first thing in the morning before you get out of bed or before you even speak, leave your thermometer at your bedside within easy reach so you don't have to move much to get it. If you use a glass thermometer, make sure you shake it down before going to bed.
    * Try to take the temperature at as close to the same time each day as possible you can also set your alarm if you need to. Staying within a half hour either side of your time is a good idea because your temp can vary with the time (i.e, if you usually take your temperature at 7am, it is OK to take your BBT between 6:30-7:30, but the closer to 7am the better). If you take you temp early it will be lower than it would be if you took it at your normal time, and if you take it later it will be higher.
    * It is best to take your BBT after a minimum of 5 hours sleep, and at least 3 in a row.
    * You can take your temperature orally, vaginally, just stay with the same method for the entire cycle.
    * You should try to place the thermometer the same way each day (i.e if in your mouth on right side always do so on right side).
    * Make note of your temperature on your chart each day, but refrain from reading too much into it until the cycle is done.
    * Some women, but not all, have a temperature drop when they ovulate. If you see this drop, it is a good idea to have sex in case you are ovulating.
    * After you see your temperature shift upwards for at least three days, it will then confirm your ovulation day for you. With luck, it is easy to see a clear shift.
    * Look at your chart at the end of the month to analyze what happened.
    * You will need to chart for a few months and look for patterns before you really know what goes on with your cycles.
    * If your temperature stays up for 18 days or more after ovulation, you should test for pregnancy.

    Illness, Stress, or Difficulty Sleeping, even a slight cold can mess with your BBT charting. If sinus congestion forces you to sleep with your mouth open, for example, your temperature may be thrown off. Also, poor sleeping habits can mess with the results.

    One thing to notice is that women with ovulatory cycles but with irregular cycle lengths, the greatest variation from cycle to cycle should be before you ovulate. The luteal phase should be fairly constant (within 1-2 days). If one women has a cycle that ranges from 28-34 days, and a luteal phase of 14 days, ovulation would occur somewhere between days 14-20, not the middle of a cycle, not day 14 . . . This is the biggest mistake women with long cycles make when trying to conceive.

    Charting can alert you to some potential problems or complications, including the following:

    Anovulation, which means a lack of ovulation, or absent ovulation. Ovulation, which is the release of an egg from the ovary, must happen in order to achieve pregnancy. If ovulation is irregular, but not completely absent, this is called oligovulation. Both anovulation and oligovulation are kinds of ovulatory dysfunction.

    Luteal phase defect. Ideally, the luteal phase is 12 - 14 days. A luteal phase shorter than 10 days can impair fertility, as it makes it difficult for the fertilized embryo to implant in the uterus. You can easily spot a short luteal phase on a BBT chart; it is seen by no more than 10 high temperatures.

    Using a BBT chart will only tell you when you have ovulated. It doesn't predict ovulation. In order to predict ovulation, it is necessary to track your cervical mucus, when your period is over, you may notice that your cervical mucus is sticky. As you get closer to ovulation the fluid will get thinner. Eventually, the mucous turns to the consistency of egg whites. This is egg white cervical mucous (ewcm), and it is highly fertile. As a rule, you and your partner should have sex every day that you see egg white cervical fluid. Once your temperature increases after ovulation you will notice that your cervical fluid gets thicker or dries up all together. If you suspect a male infertility problem the it is wise to limit sex to at least every other day to give his sperm a chance to build back up better.

    Cervical Position: Besides tracking your cervical mucus, you can also track your cervical position to help predict ovulation. Your cervix will become higher, softer, and more open as ovulation approaches. After ovulation, the cervix becomes more firm, lower, and closed (or partially closed). This is not for everyone though, as it can be very hard to do.

    Another way of detecting ovulation is with an ovulation predictor test kit (OPK). Ovulation predictor kits, require you to pee on a test stick and dip it into a cup of collected urine, once a day for a week before you expect to ovulate. There are two lines on the test strip. Whenever the test line is darker than the control line, the test has detected an LH surge. (This is the exact same hormone that causes fertile cervical mucus.)

    Saliva Ferning, is another way to detect ovulation, a ferning pattern of your saliva is a possible sign of ovulation. There are special microscopes sold for this purpose. A ferning pattern is a pattern that looks like frost on a window pane. The ferning pattern appears during the body’s LH surge, which occurs 24-48 hours before ovulation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2013

  2. gutterflower

    gutterflower Active Member

    Great put together sweetheart!!!! Love it!!

  3. Kelleigh

    Kelleigh New Member

    Oh gosh that's a lot to remember for a newbie like myself! Lol! I'm trying the BBT thing but I still am rusty with no clue as to when I ovulate.

  4. leeaman7777

    leeaman7777 Active Member

    Kelleigh, it does take time to learn everything and no one learns everything over night but with alot of reading and studying you will learn most of what you need to know, and it really helps when we go through threads on here to learn more as well. I remember when I first started ttc, I was so excited I couldn't stop reading I just wanted to learn and know everything there was to know about ttc so we did everything right. It is always recommended to ask questions too on here, we just always advise to do a search first to see if your question has already been asked and addressed. You will find all these ladies to be of great help and very supportive. We are a big family here that support each other through the good and bad time we may go through along this journey.

    Good Luck hun and I hope you enjoy your stay with us.. [​IMG]

  5. *mel*

    *mel* Super Moderator Staff Member

    I remember when I started looking into charting and I felt very overwhelmed by all the info I felt like I had to learn. At the end of the day I think you pretty much learn as you go along! Kelleigh after a couple of months you will be a charting pro, unless of course you get your BFP before then!!!!

  6. nikkiwants4

    nikkiwants4 Member

    hey everyone I started temping this cycle can you look at my chart and tell me what you think thanks


  7. *mel*

    *mel* Super Moderator Staff Member

    Is there anything in particular you want to know about your chart Nikki?

  8. nikkiwants4

    nikkiwants4 Member

    yes how is it looking

  9. *mel*

    *mel* Super Moderator Staff Member

    Well it is obvious from your chart that you definately did ovulate, not 100% sure I agree on the day but thats just my opinion. As far as how it's looking, it's impossible to say. I have spent MANY hours looking at charts! lol! And one thing I have learnt is there isn't really any such thing as a chart that looks like a pregnancy chart or a chart that looks like a normal month. You just never know untill you get a BFP or AF. Thats why some ladies chose not to chart after ovulation has been confirmed, that way it saves you getting all excited about one off temps or really nervous when temps go down. The good news is you don't have long to wait hun! Good Luck during the 2WW!!!

  10. nikkiwants4

    nikkiwants4 Member

    thank you mel for the info well since I started I just wanted to get a good cycle to make sure my lh is in normal range I just figured with my temps you can say if its possible I could have a good chance @ conception. Thanks anyway


  11. nikkiwants4

    nikkiwants4 Member


    Oh when do you think I ovulated because I was thinking of a different day myself.

  12. *mel*

    *mel* Super Moderator Staff Member

    Just looked at your chart again and your o day has changed? lol! Was it set to OPK detector before? I think it could possibly be any time between CD17 and CD20. I normally convert chart's to Celsius just because that what I use and you can see more of a rise after CD20. Of course that doesn't mean that was the day, just a possibility. After you have charted a couple of months you will get more of an idea of what your "normal" pattern is, but of course hopefully you wont have to do this anymore after this month! lol!!!

    I wish you could tell from a chart if you had conceived or not but it really is impossible! Fingers crossed though!!!

  13. nikkiwants4

    nikkiwants4 Member

    no I didnt have it set to OPK I was fooling around with it so maybe thats why you saw it change. I took the OPK out and it changed the date for me, but just because my temps are dropping do that mean anything right? Thanks


  14. StLGaL

    StLGaL New Member

    I just started temping, like a few days ago and I know that with Body Basal its different but Ive noticed my temps seem to be getting lower and lower. It started out at 97.65 and has gone lower each day with today being 97.11. Is this something to be concerened with or is this normal?

    You can look at my chart if it helps.

  15. Penguin-Goon

    Penguin-Goon New Member

    naw hun thats perfectly normal, just in the range for pre-o temps. plus when you have AF most of the time temps will be erratic, so when your bleeding they can be really high or really low, then they will level out some and shift to show O (hopefully!)

  16. StLGaL

    StLGaL New Member

    ok that makes me feel go read my post in gen health about thyroid testing..Im getting myself all worked up and paranoid.

    I swear I need to stop reading about conditions online b/c I sit there and think I have everything lol

  17. Penguin-Goon

    Penguin-Goon New Member

    lmao i can go read it, but i know nothing about thyroid testing so i dont know how much ill help!! hahahaha

    but just as a side note about temps, if you look at my chart (i left it in my siggy [​IMG] ) you can see that my temps are unusually low compared to most people, but it still shows a pattern and i got a BFP so obviously low temps dont mean anything bad, its just your personal pattern!!!

  18. Myste

    Myste New Member

    "low" bbt's are referring to consistent temps below the mid-low 96's I believe. Normal range is in the 97s so you should be fine. Even the occasional dip into the 96's isn't bad - my normal temps were around/below 97.4 and I thought the same so had a thyroid workup done and it came back fine. Also, my temps were consistently higher with a different thermometer.

  19. desertgirl

    desertgirl Active Member

    Hey, StlGal, your temps aren't low at all. Or, it's too early to say if they are low or not. In the short couple of months that I charted, my pre-O temps were in the same range. But a thyroid test just requires a little blood work taken, so if you're worried about it, just have it done.

  20. *mel*

    *mel* Super Moderator Staff Member

    StlGal I also wouldn't consider your temps to be low. I think it's easy to over analyze when you first start charting but seriously, there is nothing wrong with your chart so far [​IMG]


Share This Page