How to get an Accurate Basal Body Temperature Reading

BBT is an important part of fertility charting. The benefits of measuring your Basal Body Temperature each morning are:

1. You can see if you’re ovulating!2. You can see WHEN you’re ovulating,3. Once you’ve confirmed ovulation you’ll know when to expect your period (good for planning!)4. You’ll be able to see if there are problems with your luteal phase that could make it hard for you to stay pregnant.

So as you can see, Basal Body Temperature is a great tool. But it only works if you get an accurate reading! Here’s how to measure your BBT for the best results.

Step 1: Get a digital thermometer that is accurate to 1/10th of a degree Fahrenheit or 0.05 degrees Celsius. (Want a highly accurate thermometer that's fast, comfortable in your mouth, and doesn't beep? Try Wink, a bluetooth basal thermometer that automatically syncs your temperatures and the time your temperature was taken to the Kindara app.)

Step 2: Keep it on your bedside table, on the side of the bed that you sleep on. Taking your temperature first thing in the morning is a habit that becomes second nature after a short while. Keeping your thermometer close at hand will make the habit much easier to create.

Step 3: When you wake up in the morning and are still laying in bed, (after at least 4 hours of good sleep) turn the thermometer on and put it in your mouth. It’s important to take your temperature as soon as you know you are awake and before doing anything else. Don’t do anything before taking your temp. This means no eating, no drinking, no getting up to pee, no smooching your sweetheart… all of those can raise or lower your BBT, and you need it to be accurate for best results.

Do your best to take your temp at the same time every day, if you take it earlier or later than usual this can affect your BBT, as temperatures tend to creep slightly higher the later you sleep.

Place the probe way back under your tongue, so the metal probe tip is as warm as possible.  Now relax and wait till you hear it beep. It only take a minute at most, and for those of you who need an excuse to CHILL this is it.  And remember, don’t get up out of bed and measure your temperature in the bathroom.  Once you’re out of bed your BBT is already altered.

Step 4: Once you hear the thermometer beep (or, if you use Wink, once it vibrates), take it out of your mouth and have a look at the temp.   Remember it, write it down, or put it in your chart (or, if you use Wink, you don't need to do anything - Wink automatically syncs your temperatures to the Kindara app). 

Step 5: Shut it off and go back to sleep, or get up and start your day. Just make sure to get that temp into your chart before the day is through. :)

Problems! and Solutions!

- Annoying Beeping: There are some very annoying thermometers that beep every few seconds while you are measuring. If you have one and you’re worried it will wake up your sweetie, get a different one! (Like Wink, which vibrates softly in your mouth to let you know it's done taking your temperature.)

- Cold Room: The temperature of your room or environment should not affect the temperature reading of Wink, though it might affect the time it takes to read your temperature. Generally, Wink records a temperature in about 20 seconds but if the starting temperature of Wink is cold, it might take a little longer to arrive at your final temperature reading.

Even if your room is warmer or cooler than normal, I would recommend following your same routine each morning. Some people try to put Wink closer to their body to "warm it up" before taking their temperature. However, if Wink gets close to body temperature, the algorithm might not work at all and your Wink will fail to record a temperature - it actually needs the difference in temperature to work properly.

- I Have to Pee in the Middle of the Night!: If you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom it’s a good idea to take your temperature when you wake up, then go pee, then back to sleep.  You can take your temperature again in the morning and see if there was a difference. Some women’s temps are more sensitive and can get thrown off easily, some not so much. Do some experimenting and find out what your pattern is.  If you can get up at 4am and get a reading that’s the same as it is at 7am… no need to take your temp when you get up to pee at 4.

In conclusion, taking your basal body temperature is easy and incredibly useful. For good results, get a digital thermometer that measures to 1/10th of a degree (1/100th if you're charting in Celsius), that you don’t hate, take your temperature with it every morning before doing anything else, and keep a record of your temps on a chart!  This will give you lots of awesome info and takes less than a minute a day.

How about you? Have any BBT related questions that I can possibly help with? I’d love to hear your experiences.

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