Have you heard a lot about measuring basal temperature, but do not know why they do it? Read the article, everything is explained here!
So, for a start we will understand what is the basal temperature. Basal temperature (abbreviated BT) is the body temperature at rest, measured rectally. These measurements are carried out to analyze the hormonal background through changes in tissue reactions of internal genital organs. Due to hormonal reasons, temperature fluctuations occur only locally, thus measuring the temperature in the armpit or in the mouth is not significant.
But against the background of a general increase in body temperature due to illness or overheating, naturally, the data obtained by measuring BT are also distorted.
How to measure basal temperature
Basal temperature measurement alone gives nothing. It makes sense to study the tendency of its change for at least several months and make a schedule.
When you take oral contraceptives, the measurement of basal temperature loses its meaning, since its level is regulated by the hormones you take, not your own. BT will be approximately the same throughout the cycle.
Go to the technique: how to measure the basal temperature? For authenticity, the basal temperature should be measured daily at the same time, immediately upon waking up, without getting out of bed and minimizing movements before measurement (after all, the goal is to measure the basal temperature at rest). Therefore, it is better to prepare the thermometer in the evening, putting it near the bed, so that in the morning it was enough to stretch out your hand to it. For this purpose, both the classic mercury thermometer and digital are equally suitable. The tip of the thermometer should be inserted into the anus and lie still when using a mercury thermometer – 5 minutes, if the thermometer is digital – before the beep. The results of the measurement, not to forget, immediately transferred to the graph of basal temperature. So, now, knowing how to correctly measure the basal temperature, proceed to the analysis of the data.
Basal Temperature Graph
It should be built over several monthly cycles, otherwise these measurements will not be indicative. This makes it possible to calculate in the cycle of a woman the day of ovulation and determine the period of greatest fertility. This information is needed for couples planning to conceive a child, and for contraception. Although in the latter case, it is not particularly reliable to rely only on data obtained from studying the basal temperature. Gynecologists advise to support such a “calendar” method with other methods of protection.
But if you want to conceive a child with a partner, then it will be useful for you to determine the days when this can be done most likely.
To build a graph, you can use a regular sheet of a notebook in a cage or graph paper. The horizontal number of the day of the cycle is laid on the horizontal axis (the 1st day is the day of the onset of menstruation), and the exact temperature measurement data (with accuracy up to 0.1 0) are plotted vertically.
The basal temperature chart allows you to:
- determine the time of ovulation, thus calculate the days most favorable for conception (or “dangerous” days, as they are called by the adherents of the calendar method of contraception);
- establish the causes of infertility (only your doctor can analyze your data in this way);
- to find out whether the pregnancy occurred with a delay or an uncharacteristic form of the alleged menstrual flow;
- diagnose problems with a woman’s health, in particular endometritis.
Fluctuations in basal temperature in a healthy woman look like this:
From the first day of menstruation until its termination, BT decreases from 37.0 0 to 36.3 0 – 36.5 0 (of course, approximate figures)
When the egg matures and leaves (ovulation) in the middle of a cycle, within 3 to 4 days, the BT rises to 37.1 0 – 37.3 0.
Subsequently, the level of BT remains conditionally stable, during the entire second half of the cycle the basal temperature of 37.0 0 – 37.4 0. 2 – 3 days before the onset of menstruation, the basal temperature begins to drop to a figure similar to the beginning of the cycle (in our example, 37.0 0).
Today on the Internet there are many services that allow you to build a graph of basal temperature online.
Basal temperature during ovulation
On the onset of ovulation indicates a jump in basal temperature. By tracking it for several cycles, you can navigate when (on what day) you ovulate, thus determining the time when the chances of conception are highest for you. The basal temperature after ovulation is maintained at a consistently elevated level until the onset of menstruation, that is, the end of the cycle.
If in the middle of the cycle the rise of BT lasts longer than 3 days, this indicates that the egg cell either has not matured or is not viable, that is, pregnancy in this cycle is unlikely to occur.
If in the middle of the cycle a double rise was recorded: i.e., BT first increased, then fell by 1–2 days, and then grew again and is already at this level for the entire second half of the cycle, this indicates that the first jump was not caused by ovulation , and extraneous events (disease, diarrhea, etc.)
If in the middle of the cycle there was a double rise, but in the second half the basal temperature is not stable, it means that the egg cell died immediately after maturation.
Basal temperature before menstruation
As can be seen from the example above, the approach of menstruation is indicated by a decrease in basal temperature. But, if before the onset of menstruation, the temperature decreased for more than three days, this indicates that the egg cell was weak, perhaps because of this in this cycle there was no conception. In such cases, it is necessary to track the duration of BT reduction before menstruation in several cycles in a row. If this happens regularly for more than 3 days, point it out to your gynecologist, perhaps this is the reason why you cannot get pregnant for a long time.
It is very important to analyze the tendency of basal temperature during menstruation. If the basal temperature does not decrease during menstruation, but rather increases, it indicates endometritis (inflammation of the uterine lining). Given that many women’s diseases are asymptomatic, a change in BT may be the only warning signal to see a doctor immediately.
One of the reasons for the high (above 36.6 0) temperature in the first half of the cycle (before the onset of ovulation) is a reduced level of estrogens, which leads to an unmatched egg in this cycle. If such a picture is observed regularly, it can also indicate the cause of infertility.
Basal temperature during pregnancy
If during the usual time the periods did not start, naturally you are in a hurry to find out if
In the example described above (with BT in the first days of the cycle 37.0 0), if at the end of the second half of the cycle the basal temperature is 37.2 0, we can talk about the onset of pregnancy. The basal temperature during pregnancy in the early stages is kept at the same elevated level as in the second half of the cycle. In fact, the basal temperature in pregnant women remains elevated during all 9 months, just the women who monitored it during the planning stage of the child stop doing this by becoming pregnant.
If the menstrual periods have not begun, but the basal temperature has dropped below 37 0 (as is usually the case during menstruation), this is not talking about pregnancy, but about ovarian dysfunction.
But if there is bleeding, but differs in character from your usual menstrual period, scanty, while BT does not decrease, you may be pregnant, but there is a threat of your pregnancy, you should immediately contact a gynecologist.
How to measure the temperature. Video
Thus, measuring and plotting the basal temperature allows the woman not only to determine the most favorable days for conception, to establish pregnancy at the earliest periods, but also to identify problems in her health and help doctors to determine the reason for which she still could not get pregnant.