Basal Body Temperature and Ovulation

By Sapp (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If you are a female and trying to conceive, charting your body’s basal temperature is a natural way to learn all about its patterns in order to use it as a helpful indicator of ovulation. When trying to get pregnant it can be useful to know exactly when you are ovulating so intercourse can be timed accordingly. Many women have had great success though using basal body temperature charting and monitoring the consistency of cervical mucus.

What is basal body temperature?

A woman’s basal body temperature is the lowest temperature within a 24-hour time period. The best time for a woman to take her daily temperature is first thing in the morning. Before doing anything, she should put a basal thermometer in her mouth to record her temperature. It is important to do the reading at the same time each day and to keep an accurate record.

Basal thermometers are readily available at any drug store and will usually come with a chart for daily recording purposes. Having a daily chart of her temperatures, will allow a woman to keep track of her body’s patterns. It is even a good idea to make copies of the blank chart because it may take two or three months of recording in order to figure out ovulation patterns.

What will a woman’s basal body temperature be like when ovulating?

Before ovulation a woman’s basal body temperature may range from 97.2 to 97.7 degrees Fahrenheit. However, 2-3 days after ovulation has occurred, hormonal changes will cause the temperature to rise about 0.4 to 1.0 degree which will last until the next menstrual cycle. If a woman becomes pregnant, her temperature may stay elevated throughout the pregnancy.

Because a basal body temperature chart will only tell if a woman has already ovulated, the first month of recording temperatures will not be very helpful. However, after charting her temperature for a few months, if there is a pattern to the cycle, it will become evident. When a pattern to ovulation has been established, it is the best days to have sex and conceive.

If you are sick or do not take your temperature first thing in the morning, any patterns may not be accurate. In addition to helping a woman predict her ovulation pattern, a basal body temperature chart can also help shed some understanding on infertility issues. If certain phases of her menstrual cycle are short, a woman may have a hormonal imbalance and may require a medical examination.

What does basal body temperature have to do with cervical mucus?

Vaginal discharge comes in many different types and one is cervical mucus. Over the course of a woman’s menstrual cycle, the amount, color and texture of her cervical mucus will change due to hormonal levels. Through checking her cervical mucus, a woman can keep track of changes to help her figure out her ovulation patterns.

At the end of her menstrual cycle a woman’s cervical mucus will be sparse. After about a week, cervical mucus will change to a cloudy color and it will be very sticky in consistency. These days are not likely to be good for conception.

As ovulation approaches, cervical mucus will become clear and slippery, having the consistency of raw egg white. The last day a woman witness’s slippery, clear quality cervical mucus is often the most fertile day of her cycle and it usually indicates the day before ovulation occurs.

How are basal body temperature and cervical mucus used to predict ovulation?

Charting of basal body temperature and checking cervical mucus can help a woman track her cycle and predict when ovulation will occur. Usually, the most fertile time in a woman’s cycle is three or four days prior to a sustained rise in temperature and right on or after the last day the cervical mucus looks like shiny, raw, egg whites.

Once basal body temperature and cervical mucus patterns have been tracked for a couple of months, a woman may be able to predict the most fertile days on her next cycle. If after several months of charting basal body temperature and tracking cervical mucus changes do not yield any predictable pattern, a woman may wish to see if there is any sort of predictable pattern within the her body’s ovulation signals.

Why is it so important to chart your basal body temperature and cervical mucus changes?

Charting basal body temperature changes and keeping track of changes in cervical mucus is a natural and free, no cost way a woman can learn about her body’s monthly habits and patterns. The idea of doing all this monitoring can sound overwhelming and stressful, but if you do not wish to go to these extremes, purchasing an ovulation predictor kit can be an option.


Some fertility experts recommend having sex twice a week throughout the month as a good way of ensuring you have an optimal chance of conceiving on your most fertile day. Depending on how actively you are trying to conceive a baby, tracking and charting can be very important to maximize your chances.


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