Congrats! You’re the new owner of a Tempdrop. I’m excited for you because no matter what your fertility goals are, trying or avoiding pregnancy, or just wanting to get to know how your body works, buying Tempdrop takes you a step closer by making using fertility awareness-based methods (FABMS) much easier.
I love Tempdrop because it doesn’t claim to do the charting for you, instead, you need to have an understanding of how charting works to use it. This means that there are a couple of steps once you have your Tempdrop, to help understand what your temperatures are telling you. Today I’m going to walk you through what you need to use Tempdrop to track your fertility with a FABM.
First thing’s first
Joining the Tempdrop Facebook group is incredibly helpful for getting started with Tempdrop, I highly recommend joining to help support you as you begin to use Tempdrop. When you first get your Tempdrop, you will want to ensure you know how to turn Tempdrop on and off, how to sync it with your smartphone, and how to wear Tempdrop properly. The online dedicated user site is the place to go for all this information as well as to understand how the Tempdrop algorithm works when you first start using it.
Next, pick something to chart on
Now that you have Tempdrop set up and are ready to start taking your temperature, you’ll need something to record your temperatures with. Tempdrop’s app syncs with the Tempdrop device to show you your daily temperatures. You will want to input those into a chart so you can interpret the data. You can either use a paper chart or an app (such as Ovuview, Kindara, or the forthcoming Read Your Body app). Whatever you choose, remember that day 1 of your cycle is the first day of full bleeding, and you don’t need to wait till a new cycle to start using your Tempdrop. I recommend starting to take your temperatures as soon as possible.
Interpreting your charts
Your basal body temperature tells you where you are in your cycle by indicating whether ovulation has happened or not. After ovulation, you will be able to see a slight rise in temperature due to the presence of progesterone. This shift in temperature from the lower pre-ovulatory temperatures to the higher post-ovulatory temperatures is called the temperature shift. There are two main ways to interpret your temperature rise, either the rules from the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility or the rules from the Sensiplan method of fertility awareness. You will want to choose a method of interpreting your temperatures, by reading materials from either method or by taking a course with a trained Symptothermal fertility awareness educator.
Choose a method
While you are choosing a method of interpreting your charts, you will also want to choose a method to track your other fertility signs, namely cervical mucus. Temperature on its own is not the full picture of your fertility, as temperature only rises after ovulation has taken place. There are other additional fertility signs that you can use, such as LH tests, but understanding cervical mucus is essential.
You can teach yourself a FABM by reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility or the Sensiplan manual, or you can reach out to a certified instructor. If you are using temperature alongside cervical mucus, you are using the Symptothermal method of fertility awareness, so you can look for an instructor that teaches that method. By fully learning a method, you will be able to identify ovulation, and you will also have rules for when it is safe to have unprotected sex if you are avoiding pregnancy. If you are wanting to get pregnant, you will be able to understand what to look for in your chart to optimize conception.
It is recommended to chart three full charts before relying on fertility awareness for birth control. This means that you may want to talk to your partner about what methods you would like to use to avoid pregnancy in the meantime. Options include condoms, perfect withdrawal, diaphragms, alternative sex, or a combination of any of these methods.
When you do begin to use fertility awareness for birth control, you will still need to choose a method to use in your fertile window, the time when pregnancy is possible.
Charting your basal body temperature and your cervical mucus will help you identify when pregnancy is possible and help you make decisions based on your intentions with getting pregnant. Thanks to Tempdrop, this process has never been easier. Happy charting!
If you'd like to learn more about FABM, including how to chart your cycle and identify your fertility window, download Tempdrop's free Introduction to Fertility Awareness, a beautifully-designed guide written by seven certified fertility educators.
Nathalie Daudet is a social worker and FEMM instructor based in 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. If you love this post and would like to thank Nathalie, shop Tempdrop with Nathalie's unique referral link.