What is BBT Charting?

Have you heard of BBT Charting? Chances are if you’ve been researching how to conceive naturally then you would have come across BBT Charting. BBT charting (also known as Basal Body Temperature Charting) is a very useful resource for understanding your menstrual cycle and how your hormones are functioning. In Chinese Medicine a menstrual cycle has four phases (your period, follicular phase, ovulation and luteal phase) which correlate to the ebb and flow of Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood in the body. 

In a biomedical sense this ebb and flow relates directly to your reproductive hormones of FSH, LH, Oestrogen and Progesterone. How these four hormones interact in your body each month (as well as a few other important factors) will determine how your ovaries develop a follicle, how your uterine lining develop, how easily you ovulate and how long your luteal phase is. All very important factors when trying to conceive!

How to: take your temperature every morning as soon as you wake up and before you start moving around. 

You can do this with a specific oral thermometer that goes to 2 decimal points (come chat to us if you need one) or via a swanky device like a TempDrop arm band or Oura ring.

If you have a super easy and regular cycle then a BBT chart will let us know when your fertile window is. This information will allow you to try to conceive in the correct timeframe for your body. If you have a less easy cycle, or you have some gynaecological or hormonal issues (think PCOS, Endometriosis/ Adenomyosis, Hypothalamic Amenorrhoea etc), then this chart will let us track your progress to see where you are at. It also lets us spot important issues such as thyroid or adrenal issues which can complicate the conception process.

Finally, a chart will help us to identify where in your cycle you might be out of balance, what time of the month you need more support, lifestyle factors that may be influencing your hormones, and most importantly where your fertile window and day of ovulation are.

This is what a standard biphasic and fertile chart looks like – but everyone’s chart is different!

Things to consider:

  • A BBT needs to be taken first thing in the morning – before you get up, have a drink or use the bathroom.
  • It needs to be taken at roughly the same time each day (within an hour or so of the same time)
  • You need at least 4 consecutive and unbroken hours of sleep for it to be valid. 

NOTE: if that doesn’t sound like you then don’t worry – another method like the Tempdrop will suit you better than a thermometer.

You can start taking your temperature at any time of the month, but it is usually best to gather 2-3 cycles worth of data in order to get a true sense of what is going on. 

There are some fabulous resources out there to help you learn to read BBT Charts (like these blogs here) but if you would like individual help with interpreting your charts, or you would like to learn how to use them to conceive then it is best to book in with an Acupuncturist trained in reading BBT Charts.

If you have any queries or would like to learn more about BBT Charting, please get in touch, or book in with one of our Fertile Life trained Acupuncturists. 

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