Charting Ovulation and Finding Your BBT

I’m back to talking about getting pregnant – at least for now! Between my new organic diet and this, I have a lot on my mind.

Though I’m on a temporary hiatus from TTC, I am charting my ovulation and finding my BBT (Basal Body Temperature). Frankly, before I found out I needed to stop trying, I was charting, but I’ve decided to continue doing this for multiple reasons.

First of all, I need to figure out when I’m ovulating, exactly, so I won’t get pregnant until my TSH level goes down. Second, one of the conditions that occurs with an underactive thyroid is anovulation, where you will go a cycle or more without ovulating, and this is something I need to monitor. Third, charting and finding your BBT is fun, in my opinion.

Let’s back up. I have only been trying to pinpoint my ovulation at all for a few months now. Given that since I’ve gone off the pill, my cycle is 41 days long (a whole other topic for a future post), I’ve been doing this for 2 cycles. The first cycle, I only used an ovulation predictor kit.

With this kit, you basically urinate on a stick every morning, and it tells you whether or not you will ovulate in the next 12-24 hours. It’s 99% accurate, and I thought that was a pretty decent percentage. I prefer the digital kit made by ClearBlue. It shows a circle when you’re not ovulating, and a smiley face when you are. I’ve done a lot of research on cheaper kits, because it does cost somewhere in the $30-$40 range, but other, cheaper brands have little blue lines that are hard to detect. For example, with those kits, you need to decipher between a light blue or dark blue line. Well, what if it’s medium blue? I wouldn’t be able to handle that daily stress (haha..) so I like it simple. In addition, because I’m only a few cycles off the pill and I’m not sure when I ovulate exactly, I chose to buy a kit with 20 sticks, for 20 days. If you know for sure what week you ovulate, I would recommend buying the 7-day kit. Otherwise, the 20-day is great. Make sure you read the directions carefully! There’s a lot of little rules…

Last cycle, this was my main method of figuring out when I ovulated. The problem was, with a 41-day cycle, I used all 20 sticks somewhere in the middle of that cycle, and every single one came back with a circle. No smiley face. This led me to two possibilities: One, that I simply missed it, either being after I finished the sticks or before, or, and more seriously, that I didn’t ovulate at all; anovulation. If I didn’t ovulate, I wanted to make sure this wasn’t a permanent thing, and that it was caused by Hashimoto’s and my high TSH level.

Therefore, this cycle I decided to find my BBT on a daily basis. At first, I thought taking my temperature every day was absolutely ridiculous, and that it would be getting a bit extreme. Now, I find it fascinating to see how my body works, and I’m still waiting to see if I’ll ovulate this cycle. Here’s how it works:

Get a Basal Body Temperature Thermometer (I got mine at Target for around $5). It provides your exact temperature (like 97.85, rather than just 97.8). Every morning, before you get up, eat, or drink, you take it. Try to do it around the same time everyday. I do it at 6:00 AM, when I also wake up to take my Synthroid, and if it’s the weekend, I just go back to sleep. Later on, chart it on the graph (see my links for the one I use). As this is my first cycle doing this, I’m still waiting to see what will happen. But so far, this is what I notice: During my period, my temperature remained constant at 97.6 degrees. After, and up until ovulation, your temperature is supposed to be low, under your period temperature. The day before ovulation, your temperature will drop a few points, and it should stick out on your chart. The next day, after ovulation, your temperature will rise high, higher than what it was during your period. When you see your temp go from very low to very high, you know you’ve ovulated. This is a great way to make sure you are ovulating, and so far, I have low temps, but no high ones. If all goes normally, after you ovulate, your temperature will remain high until you get your period, when it will drop again. If you are pregnant, it will continue to remain high. This is one of the earliest ways to find out that you are pregnant.

So, I’ve been chugging along this cycle, waiting to see what my temperature will do. In the meantime, I’m also using the ClearBlue kit, and this time I backed up 20 days from Day 41, and so far, negative. If I get all the way to my period on Day 41 and I never had a smiley face or a high temp (hopefully I’d get both) then I know I’m not ovulating…and more likely than not, my thyroid is to blame. There are other ways to know if you are ovulating, and I’ll save them for a future post.

How did you determine when/if you were ovulating?

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2 thoughts on “Charting Ovulation and Finding Your BBT

  1. Healthy Mama, MD says:

    Megan,
    Good luck in trying to conceive. I also used Clear Blue Easy (or the Walgreens generic brand) digital ovulation kit to determine when I was ovulating. As soon as you get a smiley face, its time to get to “work”.

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