If you’ve never heard of basal body temperature (BBT) charting, now’s the time to perk your ears up!
This is a great tool for females to use to learn all sorts of things about their reproductive cycles. You can find a link to my favorite printable chart with instructions at the top of this post.
In simplified terms, your basal body temperature is just that – your resting temperature, taken upon waking in the morning before doing any sort of activity that will increase it. When you chart your temperature over a month, you will see an interesting pattern – the temperatures in the second half of your menstrual cycle will be elevated slightly higher than those in the first half if you are ovulating (see diagram).
Listed below are my top three favorite reasons for taking your basal body temperature:
- It allows you to determine if you are ovulating. Plain and simple! This is highly important for women who are trying to get pregnant, and equally important for women who rely on the Fertility Awareness Method of contraception (FAM is centered around using the body’s clues such as cervical fluid, BBT, and cervical position to assess fertility; it’s my favorite method of contraception because it doesn’t require taking exogenous hormones or inserting an IUD).
- BBT charting can show hormonal imbalances in the body, such as insufficient progesterone levels that can contribute to gynecological conditions such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and PMS.
- Finally, in conjunction with other symptoms you may be experiencing, a BBT chart can aid in the diagnosis of thyroid and adrenal dysfunction.
Using a BBT chart is one of my favorite tools in helping women be in control of their fertility and birth control, naturally. And we know, natural is what it is all about!
For more information on BBT charting (and an excellent resource on the Fertility Awareness Method!) check out Toni Weschler’s Taking Charge of Your Fertility.