Natural Family Planning Charting
Whether you are trying to conceive or avoid pregnancy, charting your basal body temperature is a great way to know when you are ovulating. It will also help to give you a better understanding of your body.
Natural Family Planning Charts
farenheit and celsius versions (pdf)
What is It?
Your basal body temperature, or BBT, is your body's core temperature. Normally, your BBT remains roughly around 97ºF. When you ovulate, though, your body's temperature rises slightly, going up by half a degree to a full degree to 98F or higher, and stays elevated for a number of days. Keeping track of your BBT is one of the most popular forms of natural birth control used by women today.
However, to take your basal body temperature, you do need to use a special type of thermometer, which is able to record the slight changes in your temperature. These basal thermometers can be found in the family planning aisle of your pharmacy. Basal body thermometers are available in traditional mercury thermometers as well as digital, which are faster and easier to read.
How to Chart
To get your BBT, you must take your temperature every morning, before you get out of bed, preferably at the same time. Once you have your temperature, record it on a chart. This will allow you to see, over time, patterns in your body temperature and help you identify exactly when you ovulate.
Drawing a connecting line from one temperature to the next can make it especially easy to see the fluctuations in your temperature. Because taking your BBT only allows you to realize that you have ovulated after it has happened, it is necessary to chart your BBT for a few a months before you can accurately know when to expect ovulation.
To start charting, begin recording from day one of your menstrual cycle, which is the first day of your period. Do not begin recording your temperature just yet. For now, just record the details of your period. On day five you can start to take and record your BBT on the same chart as you've been recording the information about your period.
Continue doing this for the remainder of your menstrual cycle. On the first day of your next period, begin a new chart and the recording process all over again. You may also want to use a fertility computer, which can be a helpful aid in monitoring your fertility.
In addition to recording your basal body temperature, you can also record information about other monthly changes with your body. This can include changes in your cervical mucus, cramps, spotting, breast tenderness and your general mood, all of which can be affected by your menstrual cycle.
If you are planning on using BBT as a form of natural birth control or to assist you in your family planning, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor or a health nurse who can offer you proper training in taking your basal body temperature.