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What are tips for taking and understanding your basal body temperature in relation to charting your fertility cycle?

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Begin taking your temperature on the first day of your period. You'll need a thermometer that measures by tenths of degrees.

Make sure you take it about the same time every day, preferably before you get out of bed in the morning.

Don't do anything -- eat, drink, smoke, or even move around -- before you take your temperature.

You can take your temperature however you want -- orally, rectally, or vaginally -- but make sure you use the same technique each time.

Write down your temperature every day on your fertility chart. You can make a graph, with each day of your cycle on the bottom and temperatures on the left, connecting the dots as you go.

Keep in mind that you will probably get some occasional freak readings -- either high or low temperatures -- that don't fit into the larger pattern. If they don't happen often, don't worry about them.

SOURCES:
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
American Pregnancy Association: "Ovulation Kits & Fertility Monitors."
BabyMed.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Obstetrics and Gynecology, December 2002.
Scolaro, K., American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, Feb. 15, 2008.
FDA: "Home Use Tests -- Ovulation (Saliva Test)."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on April 24, 2020

SOURCES:
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
American Pregnancy Association: "Ovulation Kits & Fertility Monitors."
BabyMed.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Obstetrics and Gynecology, December 2002.
Scolaro, K., American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, Feb. 15, 2008.
FDA: "Home Use Tests -- Ovulation (Saliva Test)."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on April 24, 2020

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How do cervical mucus and ovulation fit in to charting your fertility cycle?

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