Mistakes to Avoid when Charting Basal Body Temperature (BBT)

Today what I want to talk to you about a topic inspired by a free mini course that you can find on the free Fertile Elefants membership site. This course is hosted by me, of course, and I talk all about how to use basal body temperature (BBT) and how to properly use the information you get from your BBT chart to boost your fertility. The way that Chinese medicine uses BBT charts goes beyond confirming ovulation. I know that a lot of you are charting BBT and you’re looking at these charts and you’re not quite sure what to make of the numbers you’re seeing. The free BBT mini course tells you exactly how to interpret your chart and how to use it to improve your fertility.

🐘🐘 If you’re not already a member of Fertile Elefants I highly encourage you to sign up for our free membership! You’ll receive access to the in depth BBT training along with other courses I know you’ll love including: Fertility Acupressure, Fertility Nutrition and the option to purchase our brand new Chinese medicine pattern based recipe books. Visit www.2elefantsdigital.com to sign-up and get started.

So today I want to make sure you know about some of the common mistakes that I want you to avoid when charting BBT in order to avoid skewed data. Even though I just told you all about my mini course I know not every one is going to sign up for the free membership. That’s why I wanted to talk to you today. You’ll obviously get a more in-depth and comprehensive course on how to interpret your BBT data if you sign up for the free membership. But by following along here you will have have the very minimum information you need to know when charting BBT.

I want you to avoid the mistakes that I list below that I see a lot of people making. These mistakes will give you false information, skew your data and make your chart confusing to read. Make sure you you aren’t using the BBT chart to predict ovulation on it’s own either. It’s lousy when used alone. Always use BBT charting along side monitoring cervical mucus, cervical positioning and other fertile window signs. When you use BBT to confirm ovulation it’s a great took because you will be a temperature increase after ovulation. But if you find your chart difficult to read or your temperature spikes or dips at times that don’t quite make sense you may be making one of these common mistakes.


  • When not to use BBT charting: when you have irregular cycles meaning you’re not sure when you’re ovulating, your cycle is super long, your cycle comes and goes or you haven’t had a period in longer than 2 or 3 months. Work on your period and cycle regulation before using a BBT chart. Because it will just be an added level of stress at that point that you probably don’t need.


 Mistakes to avoid when you’re charting your temperature:


  1. Irregular Sleep Habits and Patterns - If your sleep is irregular which means your are not getting at least three hours of sleep then you’ll need to get your sleep in order before you get into charting your BBT. This is because BBT is most accurate after you’ve have at least three hours of consecutive sleep. If you’re getting up every couple of hours and your sleep in very interrupted you’re not going to get accurate BBT readings.
  2. Not Taking Your Temp Right Away - The second mistake that I see a lot of people making is that they don’t take their temperature right away when they wake up. They will get up and go to the bathroom or sometimes they brush their teeth and then take their temperature. In order for the BBT to be accurate it needs to be first thing in the morning before you get out of bed, before you talk to your husband, before you put anything in your mouth you need to take your temperature and record it. Otherwise, it’s not going to be accurate because BBT is very sensitive and even just the act of stretching could raise your temperature more than it should.
  3. Not Adjusting Your Body Temp - The third biggest mistake that I see people making is not adjusting their body temperature. A lot of people don’t know this but your body temperature rises .1 degree Fahrenheit every 30 minutes. You don’t wake up with a body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit you get up to that temperature throughout the day. When you first wake up your body is going to steadily rise in temperature which means if you get up at 7 o clock, sometimes at 5 o’clock or sometimes at 10 o’clock and your not adjusting these temperatures you’re going to get false BBT readings. It’s really important that you adjust your temperature. There are a couple of different ways you can adjust your BBT.
    Set a time that you can reasonably take your temperature consistently. For example if your time is 7 o’clock, every day that you wake up before or after 7 o’clock you will adjust your temperature accordingly. If you wake up at 6:30 you’ll add .1 degree to reach your 7am temperature when recording your BBT. And if you get up at 7:30 you would subtract .1 degree to reach the temperature that would be at 7 am. If you get up an hour later than usual you’ll need to subtract .2 degree. There’s some math involved but don’t worry there’s a website I typically recommend called com. When you go to this site it has a BBT adjuster that does the calculations for you.
    Not adjusting their BBT properly is one of the biggest mistakes I see people making and they’re always wondering why their temperatures are wonky and all over the place. Then I come to find out it’s because of all of these different wake up times. If this is the case for you, when you adjust your temps your chart will look more normal. Again for more detailed information on what you do with this data please sign up for the Fertile Elefants membership to get access to the free BBT course and how you can use it to boost your fertility
    • Traveling Between Time Zones? If you travel a lot (if and when you start traveling again), you’re a road warrior and you’re traveling across time zones, then BBT charting may not be the best thing for you when it comes to tracking and predicting ovulation. This is because traveling across time zones will interrupt your circadian rhythm and that is going to affect your reading. It won’t be worth the added layer of stress that it will provide.


That's the last tip that I have for charting BBT. I hope you find it simple to avoid these mistakes. If you have any questions or comments bring them over to the Practically Fertile Podcast group and we can talk about them there! I’ll be back soon with more fertile briefings coming your way!


Talk to you later guys!



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