Basal Body Temperature – Be Aware of Your Fertility: Part 2
Written by Andrea Maxim, Naturopathic Doctor
Basal Body Temperature
Continuing with the last blog, Be Aware of Your Fertility: Part 1 – Understanding Your cycle, we now move onto one of the easier ways to track your cycle and hormone balance, Basal Body Temperature. All that is required is a good quality thermometer and determination to check your basal body temperature at the same time every morning, before moving out of bed.
How to: On waking, without getting out of bed or moving about, place the thermometer under your tongue or in the centre of your armpit. It is best to lie still with your eyes closed while waiting to take readings. Proper positioning of the digital thermometer directly under the thickest part of the tongue or in the centre of the armpit is important. Improper positioning may result in temperature readings below actual values. Record theses values on a graph every day.
As we plot these measurements, we should see that the first half of the cycle has a body temperature 0.5-1oC lower than the second half. This is because that when we ovulate, our body temperature naturally rises and may remain there for a few days before coming back down right before menses. After plotting for a few cycles, we will hopefully begin to see a trend in temperature spikes and can then extrapolate when ovulation occurs, and thus the best time to conceive or remain abstinent.
What does it mean if my temperature is plotted in an irregular manner?
This could mean that there may be an imbalance with your adrenal glands (usually from external stressors) and that adaptogens and stress management techniques are required.
What does it mean if my temperature is consistently low (lower than 36.5 oC)?
This could mean that the thyroid is not working efficiently at maintaining a normal body temperature (37-37.5 oC) and can cause the endocrine system to become imbalanced and thus affect menstruation and fertility.
Measuring your basal body temperature does offer a number of variables that you should try to be as diligent as possible in reducing: reading your temperature at the SAME TIME every day, using the SAME thermometer, do NOT move from bed before taking your temperature, good night sleep, etc. If we plot these readings over a few months, it at least gives us a better understanding of your cycle and areas of improvement, if any.
Methods on how to track the cycle will continue in the next blog, Be Aware of Your Fertility: Part 3 – Cervical Mucous.
Do not hesitate to talk to contact Dr. Maxim today to MAXIMize on your Hormones!!
Hudson, T. (1999). Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine.
Northrup, C. (1998). Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.
Wilsons Temperature Syndrome www.wilsonssyndrome.com