Recording your daily oral temperature is one way of tracking ovulation, fertility and the length of your luteal phase. Temperature tracking is easy and accessible to everyone in reach of a thermometer.
I recommend all women track their cycle, even if their cycle is appears to be running like clockwork because it gives us insights we cannot gain from simply observing our menstrual bleed like if we are ovulating.
Here are some of the benefits of temperature tracking
- It allows you to know if you are ovulating
- It tells you how long the different phases of your cycle are (important for fertility)
- It can help you predict the day your menstrual bleed will start
- It can be used as a form of contraception
- It can be used as a form of fertility tracking
- It empowers women to know and connect with their bodies and cycles
- It improves your awareness of how your hormones operate
Temperature tracking does require you to each day use a thermometer to test your temperature, however it only takes 30 seconds and you only need to do it once every morning. Plus the thermometer is compact making it easy to take with you if you are staying with your partner or away for a work trip.
Why does our temperature go up when we ovulate?
When you ovulate, the hormone progesterone causes your temperature to rise. Your temperature will remain in its higher range until the day before your cycle when a drop in progesterone assists in instigating your next menstrual cycle and therefore bleed. If you are pregnant your progesterone levels continue to rise, along side HCG which will stop you from getting your monthly bleed.
How do you temperature track?
1. Purchase a oral thermometer from your local chemist that is sensitive to two decimal points
2. Each morning before you do anything even getting out of bed, place the thermometer under your tongue at the back of your mouth until the temperature is collected
TIP: for those who find it hard to remember place your thermometer on top of your alarm clock so you see if first thing
3. Enter your temperature details into your period tracking app - I recommend Kindara.
4. Work with a naturopath or fertility specialist to help you understand your readings once you have 1-2 cycles worth of data.
What does a typical cycle of temperature tracking look like?
What you can see is an increase in temperature around day 14 of the cycle. This increase or approximately .5 degrees denotes ovulation has occurred.
After ovulation our temperature will remain raised until the day before our menstrual bleed begins.
What if my graph does not look like this?
We encourage you to work with your Naturopath or GP to better understand your recordings if it is not clear that you have ovulated. Not all temperature readings look the same and there are a couple of clues practitioners can look at to tell if you did or didn't ovulate.
What happens if I miss a day?
If you miss a day, that is okay! It will get easier to remember the longer you are tracking and generally we can still extract the necessary data from your graph
What if I have a cold or flu?
If you have a cold or flu your temperature will be raised as your body fights off the infection. Make a note in your menstrual tracking app that you were unwell on that day so you know when looking at your graph why your temperature was inaccurate that day.
What are other signs I am ovulating?
Around day 14 of your cycle you may experience:
- A change in cervical mucous: the consistency will be that of egg white, clear and stringy
- A change in libido, generally an increase!
- A change in hunger
- A change in mood or energy
- Sore breasts after ovulation
- Skin breakouts, as testosterone is higher before ovulation
- Twitches in your ovaries or light pelvic pain
Some women notice no sights, some women notice all the signs. Work with your practitioner to understand your signs of ovulation and if you are in fact ovulating.
After a while you will be able to easily read and understand your results and can manage and predict your cycle.
Jennifer Ward, Adv Dip Nat, BComm Econ, Masters Repro Med (studying).
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Do you temperature track and want to share your experience? Or are you looking to get into it but have more questions? Email us as firstname.lastname@example.org