Center for Assisted Reproduction

The Relationship between Fertility and Basal Body Temperature

By CARE Fertility on September 22, 2015

A woman making a heart shape with her hands in front of her belly, symbolizing fertilityAt the Center for Assisted Reproduction, we strive to provide our patients with all of the information they need to maximize their chances of achieving successful pregnancy. Ultimately, knowledge is as powerful a component of a patient’s fertility treatment as anything else. The better you know how your body works and how to optimize your fertility, the more likely you are to become pregnant and introduce a beautiful new life into this world.

In educating our patients about their fertility, we explore the relationship between fertility and body temperature. At our Dallas fertility clinic, we help our patients to understand the role that basal body temperature (BBT) plays in predicting ovulation, and just how important it is in determining the best days to have sexual intercourse in order to achieve pregnancy.

If you are attempting to become pregnant, BBT can be a useful indicator of the best time to have unprotected sex; however, it is not necessarily the best or most accurate indicator.

What is basal body temperature and how does it relate to fertility?

Basal body temperature (BBT) refers to the temperature of your body when it is completely at rest. The average woman’s BBT is approximately 97 to 97.5 degrees Fahrenheit prior to and during ovulation. During ovulation, however, a hormone called progesterone is released into her system. This causes her BBT to be elevated by approximately .5 degrees a day or two after ovulation.

Of course, by the time an increase in BBT is detected, ovulation has already occurred, and it is too late to attempt pregnancy. However, by keeping track of elevations in BBT over the course of several cycles, it may be possible to detect a pattern and predict when your fertility is at its peak levels.

In most women, peak fertility lasts roughly five days, beginning three days before ovulation until one day afterwards. During that time, the goal is to have unprotected sex at least every other day, if not every day.

It is important to note that BBT charting is not a foolproof way to time sexual intercourse or to detect ovulation. It can be an important gauge of possible ovulation disorders and fertility problems, however. Indeed, having a BBT chart can be of tremendous use during your initial consultation with the fertility experts of the Center for Assisted Reproduction.

Remember that if you do attempt to measure your BBT, you must be completely at rest when you do so. You should:

  • Take your temperature at the same time every day, preferably when you first wake up.
  • Move as little as possible before taking your temperature.
  • Not drink, eat, smoke, or exert yourself in any way before taking your temperature.
  • Get plenty of sleep before taking your temperature.
  • Make sure that you are calm and collected when you take your temperature.

Learn More about Fertility and Body Temperature

For further information about the relationship between basal body temperature and fertility, please contact the Center for Assisted Reproduction today.

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