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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » BBT Charting

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Author Topic: BBT Charting
red_123
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Member # 71607

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Hi! I have been faithfully charting my BBT for about 4 cycles now...not necessarily as a means for contraception, just to get to know my body so when I AM at a time when I want to have children, I'm one step ahead of the game (hopefully).

I pretty much have a average style BBT. I drop temp the day before my period noticeably, and for the most part, it stays low (in the 96.9-97.3) range until ovulation...with one or two high temps thrown in to make things interesting, of course.

After ovulation is where I'm noticing the difference...sometimes I go up to 98.5, and others (like this cycle) I peak at 98.0. However, it always stays higher until my period begins.

I've been very dedicated to getting this to be accurate. Same digital thermometer. Same time every morning. Thermostat set the same every night before I go to bed. No extra covers. Fan pointing in the same direction. No illness as far as I'm concerned...I know there are outside variables, but I've taken every measure to minimize them as much as possible.

Now, for the questions...
1. Am I definitely ovulating if I notice a temp spike every month?
2. The periods that come with my cycles would be considered "true" periods because my temperature consistently goes down? It wouldn't be any of that freaky decidual bleeding stuff?

---The only reason I ask this is because I've read that decidual bleeding is caused by a disruption of hormones. This makes me scratch my head like [Confused] because I can't get any information on what hormones and how. Would it affect progesterone in the same way as a normal cycle?-----

3. I know, I know, I know...decidudal bleeding is rare. I'm just wanting to make sure that if my temp goes down along with my bleeding consistently, I am 100% not pregnant, and am having true menstrual periods.

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Captain Girl
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"True menstrual periods" is a funny little phrase, and more complicated than it sounds. A temp drop is not enough to 100% confirm that.

No one here can answer the question of whether you're definitely ovulating. A temp shift is good supporting evidence, but it doesn't prove anything. At best, we could look at the chart and say "it *looks like* you're ovulating." And we are unlikely to be any better at that than you are.

If you are involved in sexual activities that carry a risk of pregnancy, I would be inclined to say that period-type bleeding means that you are not pregnant. Some small number of women who hear that statement (perhaps 2 or 3 in a thousand) may be able to come back and say that I was wrong. Absolute certainty about pregnancy (or the absence thereof) is just not available that early.

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red_123
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If I was, I'd be able three months along...so I'm really sure I'm not.

So, is it not true then that your BBT has to remain elevated throughout pregnancy? I just assumed if it went down, and stayed down below your coverline, you couldn't be pregnant. Not trying to be a bother...just wanting clarification. [Smile]

I really appreciate everything y'all do here. It's fantastic, especially considering I come from an area where Sex-Ed is laughable...my teacher had to bend the rules to tell us about how to properly use contraception...

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Captain Girl
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Consistently elevated temps are a hallmark of early pregnancy (although, again, they aren't absolute proof of anything), but temps often start to look more like an anovulatory cycle as the pregnancy progresses. Furthermore, the more pregnant you are, the harder it is to get a BBT reading that you can be sure means anything, because there are a ton of factors that affect BBT that simply are not under your control.

A drop to below the coverline, followed by bleeding, is a common pattern for a period, or for a miscarriage. And ovarian cysts (which are common and usually harmless) can throw your temps and your cycle all over the place.

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red_123
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Thank you very much for your help! I appreciate it very much.
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KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 1679

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Toni Weschler's "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" is also a great book to pick up if you're looking for more about charting your cycle. It also has good information about examining cervical mucus and position if you want to add that information to your charting as well. It can help give you a bit more info about your cycle.

(It's a pretty popular book, so you'd likely be able to pick up a cheap copy at a used bookstore if you have one nearby.)

--------------------
Sarah Liz

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