BASAL BODY TEMPERATURE (BBT) CHART
The basal body temperature (BBT) is an integral tool used to assist with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. The BBT chart allows a better understanding of the timing and quality of the different phases within a menstrual cycle. The BBT chart simply graphs the body temperature when the body is at its coldest – when waking in the morning. The allows for a standardised comparison between days.
To maximize the effectiveness of a BBT, it is imperative the patient fills in the chart as per the requirements of the respective acupuncturist or Chinese medicine herbalist. Below is a list of instructions for patients at the Fertility and IVF Acupuncture Clinic to insure the BBT chart is completed to our requirements.
Recording your temperature on the BBT chart:
- Start a new BBT chart on the first day of bleeding (period). If the flow of the period starts before midday, then today is day one. If it starts after midday, then day one will be tomorrow.
- For a reliable and meaningful reading, make sure you have had at least four hours of unbroken sleep. If you feel a poor sleep may affect your chart, mark it on your chart so this will not be forgotten during your next consultation.
- Take your temperature immediately after you wake up each morning. Try your best to do this at the same time each morning. If you delay your reading, it may result in anomalies in your BBT chart.
- At the IVF and Fertility Acupuncture Clinic we advise you use a mercury thermometer. They tend to be more reliable. There are electronic thermometers which are specifically designed for BBT readings. Use one of these if you cannot source a mercurial one.
- Make sure you read the instructions which accompany your thermometer and follow these instructions closely. This will ensure an accurate temperature reading.
- You can either use your thermometer orally or vaginally. For convenience, orally is fine (a vaginal reading will only be necessary if you receive very inconsistent readings orally).