How do you know when is the right time of the month to try to conceive? At what time of the month are you at your most fertile? Most of us don’t realize that the right time for conception is just four or five days a month in the days just before ovulation.

In the last blog we discussed using cervical fluid to determine our peak days of fertility. In this blog we will discuss Basal Body Temperature and the role it plays in determining ovulation.

You can get a Basal Body Thermometer (BBT) at most drug stores or online and a BBT chart to record your temperatures is also easily found online. Start charting your temperature on the first day of your period which is considered the first day of your cycle. Take your temperature the moment you wake up or after three hours of consecutive sleep. If you wake early in the morning to go to the bathroom and then get up an hour later to go to work, take your temperature when you first wake up. You will quickly notice there is a distinct temperature pattern.

In the first half of the cycle, dominated by estrogen, the body is cultivating and preparing to release the egg. In this half of the cycle the basal body temperature tends to be lower. In the second half of the cycle, dominated by progesterone, the body is working on the uterine lining and temperature tends to be around half a degree higher. For most women the temperature will go up at least three or four tenths of a degree around the fourteenth day of the months and stay there. This temperature rise indicates ovulation. Remember you are at your most fertile in the days before ovulation so trying to conceive just before the temperature rise (when you will have fertile cervical fluid) is the best time of the month. A BBT used in conjunction with cervical fluid and an Ovulation Predictor Kit will be extremely accurate in determining when you are at peak fertility. We will discuss how to use OPKs in the next blog.

If you would like to learn more about reading and understanding BBTs Tony Westchler’s book Taking Charge of Your Fertility is an excellent resource. You are also welcome to ask me questions through my website.

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