Factors Influence Your Basal Body Temperature

It is very important to take your basal body temperature (or BBT) first thing in the morning so that you won’t have many variables that can influence it. This makes your measurement more accurate and more reliable for identifying your fertile phase. Here are some factors that could affect your BBT readings.

Occasional high temperature – If your temperature is artificially high because of fever, a restless night’s sleep or alcohol consumption the night before, you may want to cover the outlying temperature with your thumb when you are interpreting your chart.

Write the lowest possible temperature (the part that lies on the edge of your thumb) as well as your highest temperature at that moment so that it doesn’t interfere with your ability to decipher your chart.

Any physical activity – Even the slightest shaking of the thermometer before taking your temperature is enough physical activity to slightly increase your BBT. Remember that you are monitoring your temperature up to the tenth decimal point, so a little difference in the temperature can be interpreted differently.

With that in mind, take your BBT upon awakening, about the same time of day, after at least three hours of consecutive sleep, and before doing anything such as talking on the phone, drinking water, and getting up to urinate.

Smoking – Never smoke a cigarette if you are trying to get pregnant, or are already pregnant. This is also considered a physical activity that should be avoided before taking your BBT.

Checking the coverline – One way of properly interpreting your BBT chart is to be able to draw a "coverline." To do so, you need to remember that you are checking your last six temperatures at a time. Once you see a temperature of at least two degrees higher than the highest of the last six days, you assume that you’ve had a thermal shift.

After which, count back six temperatures, highlight them and draw the coverline, which is one-tenth of a degree above the highest of those temperature. Once your temperatures have been above the coverline for at least three days, you can be virtually positive that you are fertile.

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