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What does temperature have to do with ovulation?

What does temperature have to do with ovulation?

Jackie Vinyard, M.S. Health Sciences | June 16, 2020 | Getting Pregnant
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If you’re trying to conceive, knowing when you’re ovulating is key. After all, if you “try” around the time of ovulation, during your fertile window, you increase your chances of conception (1). 

But that can be easier said than done. After all, in order to know when to try, you have to know (or have a good idea of) when you’re ovulating. Since ovulation has been found to occur between days 10-17 (2) AND the ovulation day can vary each month, it can be challenging to know exactly when to try.

To find your fertile window, or the time each cycle that you are able to get pregnant, you can use your temperature readings. Your temperature changes throughout your menstrual cycle in response to your hormones. Depending on the temperature measurement method, these temperature changes can be used to predict or confirm ovulation (3). You can also continue to monitor your temperature after ovulation, which may help confirm whether you have enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy (4).  

Here are three types of temperature collection methods to pinpoint ovulation:

  • Basal body temperature thermometers 
  • Peripheral sensors
  • Core body temperature sensors 
Basal body temperature (BBT) 

BBT is your temperature at rest before any activity and typically after at least 3 hours of consecutive sleep. If you use this method, you will track your BBT every morning and watch for a rise in temperature to confirm that ovulation occurred. While BBT varies, anywhere from 96 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit (measured orally) are average pre-ovulation temps. Once you ovulate, most post-ovulation oral temperatures measure between 97 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit. When this shift is sustained for at least 3 days, it suggests that ovulation occurred (3).

Kindara-TTC-Landscape-Chart (1)

BBT is used to confirm ovulation has occurred, but it cannot predict ovulation. You can use your confirmation to have an idea of when you ovulate each cycle, but since it is not predictive, you may miss your fertile window. You may feel reassurance, however, that you ovulated. 

Since you’re most fertile two to three days before your temperature increases (5), BBT shouldn’t be used alone for trying to get pregnant. If this is your method of choice, you should also track additional signs of fertility, such as cervical mucus or use an ovulation predictor kit. 

A number of factors (such as smoking or sickness) may cause shifts in BBT, which could lead to  irregularities in your chart, making it difficult to interpret if you ovulated or not (6). 

Peripheral sensors 

Peripheral sensors measure temperature outside the body on skin, for example, worn on the wrist or in the ear. They are typically worn at night and measure your temperature while you are sleeping. They may use BBT or a combination of BBT and algorithms to pinpoint ovulation. 

This may be an easier method to use if waking up each morning to take BBT measurements is too challenging. It is also more accurate than using a BBT thermometer due to being able to collect your temperature at rest without you even having to wake up to collect the readings (7). 

Research shows, however,  that they may not be an accurate predictor of ovulation due to too much interference with the temperature readings, such as air temperature, drinking alcohol or light sleeping (8). 

Continuous Core Body Temperature (CCBT) 

CCBT,  a new advancement in science in temperature monitoring, measures your core body temperature. In essence, your CCBT is your internal body temperature and is a reflection of temperature patterns known to be associated with ovulation (something called circamensal rhythms) (6, 9, 10). CCBT is typically collected vaginally for women.  

CCBT is highly accurate for two reasons: One, it’s measured constantly, day and night, which means the subtle temperature patterns that occur prior to ovulation will not be missed (11). Two, since the temperature readings are measured internally, they are not subject to interference and can be detected (11). 

This means that with CCBT, you know in advance when to have sex with your partner in order to conceive (11). 

In summary, the best method of temperature collection is the one that you personally prefer. The most affordable, but requires most effort is BBT thermometers. If you prefer to use one that is not vaginal, then peripheral readings may be your best bet. If you prefer minimal effort and accuracy, then CCBT is the way to go. 

Ready to get valuable fertility data to help you get pregnant? With CCBT, your fertility is less of a guessing game, as your temperature and circadian rhythms are mapped out for you.

Learn About The Priya Fertility Monitor

To learn more about CCBT, check out Continuous Core Body Temperature, Circadian Rhythms, and Fertility.

References +
How Not to Waste Another Month When Trying to Conceive
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