Basal Body Temp charting is a fertility awareness method & involves recording your temperature first thing in the morning, before you’ve gotten up and out of bed, and after about 4 hours of continuous sleep (yes, shift workers can chart too!). Your temperature needs to be taken while you’re still lying in bed because as soon as you sit up, your metabolic rate naturally increases and you’ll see a relative increase in your base body temp as a result, and we’re no longer getting that true basal temp.
Tracking your cycle not only lets us know whether you’re ovulating or not, but when it’s occurring, and whether it’s happening consistently. Not only that but it provides us with plenty of information around fluctuations between your follicular and luteal phases, and how this translates to your constitution, but also your general stress levels, cycle regulation and thyroid health. We classically use this method for those wanting to conceive, but it is used by many women as a contraception method to know when they’re fertile and when they’re not. So how does this relate to your Acupuncture sessions? From a Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, it lets us know more about your constitution and whether we need to do things such as nourish blood, move stagnation, tonify Yang, clear damp, or move Qi in order to regulate your temps, or to work towards a consistent ovulating cycle. Temperature progressions between the first and second half of your cycle provide plenty of information for us to work with, and often a combination of Chinese herbs and Acupuncture are used, with tangible changes reflected during the monitoring of your temps.
For those with conditions affecting cycle regulation, there may be additional factors that need to be considered. Like any Chinese Medicine treatments, cycle regulation issues usually need a minimum of three cycles to work with to create a change. If using these methods for conception timing, we want to make sure your cycle is as smooth as possible. When it comes to recording your temps, technology is your friend and we love using the app ‘Fertility Friend’; it’s free, provides clear charting, and even allows us to see charts remotely if you allow access. Since temperature fluctuations start at less than half a degree, in order to be accurate in interpreting your changes your thermometer should record to two decimal places (eg. 36.42). A digital fertility thermometer will do this. Whilst you’re learning to cycle track, we’re here to help you interpret your results and for those using it to prevent pregnancy, it’s recommended that you use barrier protection while you learn to interpret your chart.
The initial stages of BBT tracking are all about data collection. We want 2-3 cycles worth of info to see a pattern arise to see what your cycle is telling us, but we will have plenty of starting knowledge based off your symptoms and health history to work with from just over your first tracked cycle. It’s important to be as consistent as possible with charting, and things like alcohol or having a restless night will impact your reading, so you can note in the app when this has happened in order to correlate any changes to the activity. Other things to consider are no heated blankets overnight, type of thermometer (want one with the detailed reading), and diet. If there are factors such as stress or sleep issues that are consistently impacting your temp accuracy we simply work on supporting your system to improve sleep and better regulate your ‘rest and digest’ response. You can book Fertility consults with Laelia online or call the clinic on (02) 8406 0679