March 8, 2013

PCOS to Pregnancy: Charting your way to pregnancy (or not)

Charting your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is a great way to watch for patterns in your cycle and to see when both ovulation and pregnancy occur. This is one thing I always do when we are trying to conceive! It's great because it's less expensive than ovulation tests (although I still rely on those as well) and you can typically see a pregnancy pattern before a test will give you positive result!

How to do it:
You'll need a BBT thermometer. They are inexpensive and can be found at your local drug store. A BBT thermometer is different from a regular thermometer in that it measures your temperature to the hundreth degree. So instead of 97.1, your thermometer may read 97.18. This is important in charting.

You'll want to take your temperature first thing in the morning, after at least 3 hours of sleep and before you get out of bed or eat or drink anything. Taking your temperature at exactly the same time every day will help you get the most accurate information. If needed, set an alarm.

To chart your temperature, you can print a chart and manually track it. There are also websites and phone apps. Right before you ovulate, you will see a dip in your temperature. If you see this dip (and you're trying to conceive) take action! Ovulation is shown on your chart by elevated temperatures. This rise in temperature should last for about 3 days.

Pregnancy is typically shown by elevated temperatures after the ovulation period for many days. If your temperature does not drop, you may be pregnant!

Chart showing pregnancy
Chart not resulting in a pregnancy

Charting can be helpful for both women who are trying to conceive and those that are hoping to avoid pregnancy. By knowing your ovulation cycles, you can decide whether to have or avoid intercourse.

Please remember that every women is different and your charts may look different from others! You can read more in depth about charting your fertility in the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility or the website

I'm Jenny, the mama behind the blog Cloth Diaper Revival.   I'm a stay at home mom to Noah and a wife to Chas, the cloth diapering dad.  I used to be a 3rd grade teacher until I was blessed with the birth of my first child, Noah. I'm currently trying to conceive my second child while struggling with infertility due to PCOS. This series covers my journey and my experiences along the way.