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Basal Body Temperature: All Your Questions Answered Part II

As one of the main observable signs of your fertility status, basal body temperature is key in using the fertility awareness method for avoiding pregnancy, getting pregnant, or charting your cycle for health. We answered your basal body temperature questions in Part I of this series. You had so many wonderful questions that they’re continued in this Part II of Basal Body Temperature: All Your Questions Answered. If after reading this you still have burning questions, please send us a message or comment below!

If You Miss a Day Temping, Do You Have to Scrap the Whole Month of Fertility Awareness Charting?

Having a day or two of missed temperatures in your chart is not the end of the world. You most definitely do not need to scrap the whole cycle! It is still possible to read a temperature shift with missed temperatures, although you may need to wait a day more to confirm ovulation if it so happens to be at ovulation. Ensuring you are charting both cervical fluid and basal body temperature will give you a backup indicator of fertility if you miss a day of temping. 

There are some things you can do to make using fertility awareness a little easier to use, and eventually you will be able to take some shortcuts, especially with the help of an instructor. One of those shortcuts is using Tempdrop. It is a heck of a lot easier to stick with taking your basal body temperature. All you have to remember to do is put your armband on each night. 

Another shortcut is taking a break from taking your temperatures during your period. Your temperatures may be slightly erratic during your period anyways, so if you’d like to miss some days, this would be the time to do that. 

Is It Possible to Observe Fertile CM on the First Day of Temp Rise?

Throughout any given menstrual cycle, you will observe the effects of your reproductive hormones on the production of your cervical fluid. Cervical fluid has a wide range of benefits, including helping sperm stay alive and nourished, and telling us our level of fertility. As ovulation approaches, cervical fluid becomes increasingly more sperm-friendly, meaning that it has more water content and becomes more stretchy and clear. 

The day of the most fertile cervical fluid around ovulation is known as the peak day. (Hot tip: this is the day of highest fertility in your cycle! If you’re trying to conceive, this would be the best day to have intercourse). Ovulation occurs within three days either side of peak day. That is, within three days before or after peak day.

Because your temperature shifts after ovulation has happened, it is possible to observe fertile CM either before or after our temperature rise! This is why it can be helpful to track both cervical fluid and basal body temperature (which you can do easily with a Tempdrop).

fertile window

If You Had Circumstances That Lead to a Questionable Temperature, but the Temperature Still Falls in Line with What You Were Expecting, and Is Following Your Trends, Is It Still Questionable?

A “Questionable Temperature” is a temperature that you believe has been influenced by outside factors. With an oral basal body thermometer, your temperature can be impacted by any number of outside factors, such as drinking alcohol the night before, taking your temperature earlier or later than normal or sleeping in a room that is warmer or colder than your regular temperature.

If you are using an oral basal body thermometer, it’s recommended to keep track of these factors in your chart. That way, you will learn what affects your temperature and what doesn’t.

If you believe you have had circumstances that could lead to a questionable temperature, but no wonky temperature reading, you are probably just fine. No one person has the same factors that impact their basal body temperature. This is why you can track these circumstances in your chart and see what’s true for you!

With Tempdrop, outside factors are generally excluded from a temperature reading. This means that Tempdrop is smart enough to get your actual basal body temperature, even if you drink alcohol the night before, get up in the middle of the night, or travel to a different time zone.

basal body temperature elevated temperature from drinking

What Does It Mean If You Get Positive OPKs, but No Temperature Shift?

OPKs or Ovulation Predictor Kits measure your levels of Luteinizing Hormone (LH), a hormone that rises suddenly around ovulation to trigger the release of an egg. OPK’s are a helpful additional fertility sign, but they are not foolproof. The rise of LH does not always indicate that ovulation will for sure happen.

This means that you could have an OPK that reads positive, but no temperature shift. Because your temperature rises following ovulation, you can know that it has occurred, looking back. We can never predict ovulation, but we can know it has happened, retrospectively!

How Long Would We See Elevated Temps Coming off of Hormonal Birth Control?

Depending on what type of hormonal birth control you were on, and for how long, the length of time can vary as to how long it takes for your cycles to return to normal. For some women, their menstrual cycles can return right away, and for others it can take some time. You may experience delayed ovulation, shorter or longer cycles, abnormal bleeding, disrupted cervical fluid or other symptoms after coming off birth control.

If you are tracking your basal body temperature, you will want to look for a sustained temperature shift that indicates ovulation has taken place. This means that the communication between your brain and your ovaries is beginning to repair. If it doesn’t happen right away, be patient with yourself! Take care and nourish your body, and prioritize self care.

Nathalie Daudet, Social Worker and FEMM InstructorNathalie Daudet is a social worker and FEMM instructor based in the centre of Winnipeg, Canada. She discovered fertility awareness after searching high and low for a non-hormonal method of birth control. After learning the magic of fertility awareness and the gift of body literacy, she decided to pursue formal fertility awareness training and share the knowledge of fertility awareness with women looking for a natural birth control option. Fertility Awareness Project is the hub for Nathalie’s FEMM classes in both group and individual formats, online and in person in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She can be reached at fertilityawarenessproject.ca. If you love this post and would like to thank Nathalie, shop Tempdrop with Nathalie's unique referral link