BBT

How to do BBT Charting

Basal body temperature is called the BBT and if you come to Mei Hua Chinese Medicine Clinic for fertility support you will be filling in a BBT chart. The BBT chart is a diagnostic tool in Chinese Medicine, and it is a tool we use to gather data to assist in diagnosis and treatment.

There are many apps now that you can use to track your BBT. Fertility Friend is one of the oldest, though there are many more. Your practitioner will interpret the chart for you as you may ovulate on a different day that the app shows.

How to record a BBT

  1. You will need a BBT thermometer. They are available at the clinic or chemist.
  2. You will need 4 hours of sleep minimum before you can take the BBT. Take the temperature immediately after you wake up, before you get out of bed.
  3. It is a good idea to take the temperature at the same time each day. If you change the time you take the temperature, please note it down on your chart and we need to take this into account when reading your chart.
  4. Note down things that can also can change your temperature – this includes sickness, alcohol or interrupted sleep.
  5. If you struggle to do your BBT you can now purchase tempdrop that automatically tracks your BBT for you.

What does a BBT chart show us?

The chart shows the different phases of the menstrual cycle. Our temperature changes according to the hormones that are secreted in our body. It tells us if the phases are at their optimal length for fertility, or not. IN Chinese medicine it can show us what aspects of the body are in balance, or need help to regulate the cycle and balance the hormones.

The Menstrual Phase

The menstrual phase is the first phase to the menstrual cycle. You start the BBT chart on day one of your period. Day 1 is the first day of flow. If you spot pre-period, it is part of the former cycle. The menstrual phase is usually a drop in temperature from the luteal phase. If the temperature doesn’t drop we will prescribe herbs and acupuncture to balance this out.

The Follicular Phase

The next phase is the follicular phase. The follicular phase is dominated by estrogen which aids the thickening of the endometrial lining. During the follicular phase your ovaries are developing follicles for a mature egg to be released at ovulation. So the temperature and length of this phase is telling us about your eggs and endometrial lining.

The Ovulation Phase

The ovulation phase is when the LH (luteinizing hormone) peaks to promote ovulation. The ovulation phase is your fertile window and lasts 3 days before ovulation and a day or 2 after. If your timing for ovulation is not correct and your stop trying after day 14 and you ovulate on day 17 then you won’t fall pregnant. So timing is very important. Once you have charted your BBT for a couple of cycles, and you are ovulating regularly then you can predict when you will ovulate and time appropriately. Ovulation mucus and
cervix positioning together with BBT aids determining when you ovulate.

The Luteal Phase

The next phase is the luteal phase. During this phase our temperature rises higher than the follicular phase. This phase is dominated by progesterone. Progesterone keeps the endometrial lining thickened so if a embryo implants into the uterine lining it is well nourished and supported for pregnancy until the development of the placenta which happens in about week 9 of pregnancy.

This is a brief introduction to BBT charting. IT is a fantastic diagnostic tool for natural fertility therapists and Chinese medicine. We also use the information as a diagnostic tool to add to a Chinese medicine diagnosis. Learning and understanding your BBT helps you understand your cycle and timing of ovulation. You can even chart your BBT and do ovulation sticks to check the accuracy of the ovulation sticks.

To book an appointment for Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture therapy for fertility support here. Chinese medicine and acupuncture can support your fertility journey if you are going through IVF or IUI.

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