Basal body temperature: what is and how it changes
The basal body temperature in specialized literature is the lowest body temperature in the period immediately after sleep. The basal temperature of a woman can be measured in three different ways: in the mouth, in the vagina or in the rectum. At the same time, the choice of thermometer is not important - for measuring the temperature indicators, you can use both a classic mercury thermometer and a supernova electronic thermometer. But here an obligatory condition for observance of all rules of measurement of basal temperature with the subsequent drawing up of a temperature schedule is a rule of invariability of a thermometer: the basal temperature is always fixed exclusively by the same thermometer, because the errors of each individual thermometer are even different by one tenth of a degree. Accordingly, the use of different thermometers may well be the reason for drawing up an incorrect temperature profile.
Temperature indicators during baseline temperature measurements throughout the entire menstrual cycle vary and directly depend on hormonal fluctuations. Specialists in the menstrual cycle are divided into 3 periods: follicular (time to ovulation), ovulatory (the period of release of the mature egg from the ovary) and lutein (period after ovulation before the onset of menstruation). In the plotted basal temperature chart, at the same time, the menstrual period is divided by 2 changes in the curve: the follicular and luteal phases. The transition from one phase to another - the ovulatory period - and becomes the most suitable time for the conception of a child, for which the most commonly mentioned graphs are drawn. The follicular period is characterized by the prevalence of estrogen in the female body, this is the time of low temperatures: the basal temperature will now hold at 36, 2-36, and 5 degrees. At the onset of the luteal phase, on the eve of the release of the ovum from the ovary, the temperature is further reduced, by about 0, 1 degree, and then there is a sharp temperature jump upwards - active progesterone production causes an increase in basal temperature to 37, 2-37, 5 degrees. Such temperature indicators will persist until the beginning of another menstruation, after which you should expect a gradual decrease in basal temperature.
So, drawing up a basal temperature schedule with a daily indication of the temperature levels will allow us to optimally calculate the most favorable days for successful conception, as, in fact, the days for actually safe sex. Note that for each woman, depending on the characteristics and duration of the menstrual cycle, the duration of the follicular phase will be different. At the same time, the luteal phase always has approximately the same duration: from 10 to 14 days. For example, if the menstrual cycle is optimal for 28 days, the estrogen and progesterone dominance phases will be approximately equivalent. If the cycle is shortened or, conversely, longer, the phase of estrogen dominance decreases or increases.
How to measure basal temperature?
to get the most accurate basal temperature chart, which will be able to navigate and calculate the chances of conception, it is necessary to strictly follow a number of certain rules. After all, even seemingly insignificant actions or interference from outside subjective factors affect the body's temperature indexes. By the way, keep in mind that, observing the basal temperature for several months, there is also the opportunity to identify possible hormonal problems in the body. For example, elevated temperature indices in the first phase indicate an estrogen deficiency in the body, while lower temperatures in the second phase may indicate insufficient progesterone production now. But the flat schedule, without special temperature changes and sharp jumps in the graph can be an alarming signal of the absence of ovulation and inability to conceive. In any of the above cases it is desirable, if possible, as soon as possible to consult a doctor for advice and get a diagnosis for possible hormonal disorders.
It is correct and unmistakable to track basal temperature and make a correct schedule can be, necessarily following the written rules. So how to measure basal temperature, so that the chart is as informative as possible?
- Basal temperature is measured exclusively after sleeping, without getting out of bed and before any physical activity begins. Temperature measurement should always occur at the same time: if you wake up at 8 am, then the temperature should be daily at the same time. In the case when, for example, on a day off, awakening occurs somewhat later (and, accordingly, measurements are also made with a time shift), it is necessary to make a note on this state in the schedule.
- The duration of a continuous sleep before measuring the basal temperature should be at least 4-6 hours. So, if, for example, you wake up at 6 am for a small need, and then lie down to refill, it is better to measure the temperature immediately after awakening "with a urge": after waking at 8:00, you no longer receive accurate data. And, even after sleeping more than 3 hours after the preliminary awakening, the data will be less accurate than received several hours earlier.
- Having defined the way of measuring the temperature (oral, rectally or in the vagina), in the future it is necessary to use this method as the only one without moving the thermometer. Otherwise, we can not speak about the exact schedule. To measure the temperature should be and during menstruation, each time writing it down right after measurements, then to not forget to do it later.
- The following factors can influence the temperature indicators: drinking alcohol the night before or at night; stressful conditions; various diseases, including, and with an increase in body temperature; insomnia; travel or flights with a change of climate; taking medicines; sex a few hours before awakening. Please note that it is not possible to schedule a basal temperature when using hormonal drugs or contraceptives.
Basal Temperature Chart
Drawing up the actual graph of basal temperature - in fact, it's not so complicated. For the chart you will need an ordinary leaf in the box, which is hand-drawn: from one point the horizontal and vertical rays are drawn. On the horizontal ray, the days of the menstrual cycle are marked, on the vertical ray - degrees are recorded, with the calculation of 1 cell = 0, 1 degree. Every morning, when measuring the basal temperature, the graph should immediately be marked accordingly, marking the indicators with a dot.
For maximum reliability, the graph should not be less than 3 cycles. And after - you can study the dynamics of the change in the curve, determining the day of ovulation.