If you are trying to conceive, you may want to start charting your cycles. It will take a few months before you begin to see a pattern in your cycle. When the time comes to see a doctor, your charts can help determine if there is a problem.
Charts give the doctor clues to certain fertility problems. Good charting can help the doctor diagnose problems with ovulation, low hormone levels and luteal phase defect. Thyroid problems may be diagnosed if you have low or high temperatures in the early days of your menstrual cycle.
Basic charting is done by measuring your basal body temperature. This is the temperature of your body when it is at rest. To get an accurate reading, you need to take your temperature when you wake up in the morning. To be most effective, you should take the temperature at the same time every day.
To get the most accurate reading, take your temperature as soon as you wake up. Keep the thermometer on your night table within easy reach. You want to take your temperature before getting out of bed. Don’t eat, drink or smoke prior to taking the temperature.
You will need a basal body temperature thermometer. These are special thermometers that register the temperature to the .1 of the degree. This makes them more accurate for recording subtle changes than a standard thermometer. Basal body temperature thermometers are available at any drug store. They are available in digital and traditional glass styles.
Ovulation can be seen on a basal body temperature chart. The temperature will increase about .4 degrees as ovulation occurs. You won’t have advanced warning of ovulation, but you will know that it has occurred. For accurate charting, begin on the first day of your menstrual cycle and take your temperature every morning of the month. After a few months, you’ll be charting like a pro.