A common misconception about BBT is the assumption it can predict ovulation. Whilst this would be very handy, this isn’t how tracking basal body temperature works!
BBT helps to confirm ovulation has occurred, rather than predict it couldbeapproaching.
During ovulation, an egg is released from a mature follicle on an ovary. Once the egg has been released, this follicle then transforms into a temporary endocrine gland called the corpus luteum. This tiny but mighty gland then pumps out progesterone, this is our only source of high levels of progesterone in the body.
Progesterone has a warming effect on the body (via the thyroid) and increases our basal body temperature.
This is why through tracking our BBT we can confirm ovulation has taken place, and also why it cannot predict ovulation; because a shift in our BBT will only occur afterwards.
So why would it be useful to know in hindsight you have ovulated?:
● If you are TTC, it helps you to know when your fertile window has closed each cycle. Instead of trying to conceive every other day of your whole menstrual. cycle, you can make the most of your actual fertile window, and also know when you are no longer fertile and no more chance at conception.
● If you are avoiding pregnancy (TTA), understanding when your fertile window has closed for your cycle and knowing unprotected sex is safe once you can confirm ovulation has occurred (according to your chosen FABM rules).
● General body literacy to help confirm when you have moved from your follicular phase to your luteal phase.
● Getting insight into your hormonal health by being able to see how many days your follicular and luteal phases are. This can only be done by knowing when you ovulate!
● To know when your next period is going to come. Once you have ovulated, you can expect your period within two weeks (assuming ruling out pregnancy). Very useful information for any cycling woman. Especially those with long or irregular menstrual cycles, knowing when your next period is going to come can be a bit of a guessing game. If you are tracking BBT, you will always know when your next period will begin. Invaluable information in our opinion!
● Insight into whole body health, thyroid health and metabolism. A whole lot needs to be working well in order to ovulate. Tracking your BBT can give you information not just about your reproductive health, but whole body health, as nothing works in isolation in the body, it’s all connected!
At Femtek we love how much information tracking BBT can give us, and we can’t wait to help you learn more about your body!
Lauren Curtain is a registered Chinese medicine practitioner, women's health focused acupuncturist and herbalist. She centres her practice around supporting women to navigate their hormones, menstrual cycles and fertility using a combination of education (all the women’s health info you didn't get in high school), acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition and lifestyle support. Lauren believes every woman has the right to know how her body works, and what she can do to optimise not only her reproductive health, but whole body health. Lauren has seen firsthand with her patients the dramatic improvements that can be made to reproductive health through simple, inexpensive, non-invasive techniques and firmly believes symptomatic periods and menstrual cycles can be a thing of the past and we can embody a thriving fertile life.