Fertility is much more complex than a simple temperature chart. However, when combined with other observations, the temperature curve can be very useful when it comes time to conceive.
Why make a temperature curve?
Taking your basal temperature curve (body temperature at rest) confirms that ovulation has taken place during a cycle. That's the only information it gives. This is therefore insufficient to identify the precise moment of ovulation and to know which days are the most favorable for having sexual relations. “The temperature curve is two plateaus. We are talking about a plateau of low temperatures at the start of the cycle and a plateau of high temperatures which ends the cycle,” explains Marie-Hélène Viau, director of Séréna Québec.
The latter mentions that part of the women thinks that the first point of high temperature is the day of ovulation, while the other part thinks that ovulationtakes place on the last day of the low temperature plateau. This is not necessarily the case. “There is an obsession with ovulation when,when you want to conceive, that's not what's important, that's not what you should be looking for. »
Knowing that you ovulate by making your temperature curve, yes, but to successfully conceive, you must also and above all succeed in determining all the fertile days of a cycle.
Good to know
To be able to make an accurate interpretation of the different observations, it is better to train with professionals rather than simple readings and viewing on the Internet.
Doctor Pierre Miron, founder and president of the assisted reproduction center Fertilys, also claims that the temperature curve does not make it possible to determine the moment of ovulation. However, he considers it a good idea to take it anyway, especially at first. “We can do it to reassure ourselves. It is also a good starting point for discussions with the doctor during fertility meetings. »
How to do?
In order to know if ovulation is coming and what are the first days of fertility, it is necessary, in addition to taking the basal temperature, to observe the cervical mucus (vaginal secretions) and the cervix uterus.
“From the first day of fertility, we should start having sex. If we just look for ovulation, we lose the first fertile days, so we give ourselves less of a chance. By observing all the signs (temperature, cervical mucus and cervix), we are able to identify all the fertile days of the cycle, whichallows us to have a frequency of sexual relations that is much more optimal,” says Ms. Viau.
The basal temperature is taken in the morning, ideally always at the same time. The body must first have had at least a good two hours of deep sleep. “We recommend leaving the thermometer on the bedside table and developing the reflex of reaching out to the bedside table, moving as little as possible,” says Marie-Hélène Viau. The vaginal route is preferred, as the buccal route is less precise.
Observation of the cervix
Observation of the cervical mucus, on the other hand, is done throughout the day. When we go to the toilet, with a piece of paper or a finger, we look for the secretion in the vulva and observe its appearance. Is it sticky? Does it stretch? Does it look like an egg white?
In addition, special attention must be paid to sensations: do you have a feeling of humidity that you did not have the day before?
Finally, the self-examination of the cervix (which we do in the evening) will confirm our observations of the day. By inserting a finger or two into the vagina, one will be able to follow the variations of the cervix throughout the cycle.
These three observations allow you to know exactly where you are in the cycle, to identify the first and last fertile day, or to identify abnormalities in the cycle. “We can even manage to identify the most fertile days within the period offertility” maintains the expert.
The right thermometer, the essential tool
To take your basal temperature, you need a basal thermometer. “It has to be written on the box” specifies Marie-Hélène Viau. This thermometer, which has two decimal places, is much more accurate than a fever thermometer.
Factors that influence basal body temperature
- Excess alcohol the night before
- Fever (flu, etc.)