Monday, June 27, 2011

Basal Thermometer - Advice?

I feel a wee bit daft about my last post, and I apologize for the bit of drama, but hey... it's all about learning, right? Thank you to Isa for pointing out that 1.68 times and 68% is the same number. I suppose it goes to show that, at least for me, the info can be confusing. Alas and anyway...

I have a question for everyone in the TTC world, and know how great you are at weighing in on things like this. As we have about 3 months before our first insemination, I want to start seriously tracking my cycle and ovulation. I have my period tracked for the last 2.5 years, but want to find out what days I tend to ovulate. My period is consistently 27 or 28 days.

Is using a basal thermometer the way to go? If used correctly, is it the most accurate? (I don't really want to spend money on ovulation strips unless I need them during the actual TTC time). If charting that way is the most tried method, is there a specific thermometer that is better than others? I want to go out an buy one for when my current period is finished, so we can start now. It's kind of exciting; it makes things feel more real.

Thanks, as always, for your input.


  1. I think that basal therometers are pointless. We used one for about 2 months and the chart was just fustrating and all over the place. I think that cheap OPKs are the way to go. Also our RE didn't think that us tracking the temps would be that helpful. Plus, it's annoying to do it first thing every morning. But most people who are TTC do it, so if you have a few months before you get started, why not.

  2. I bought a cheapy drug store brand basal thermometer and it does work for me just fine. I think the BBTs are helpful, but not enough to bank on to track. You have to be really consistent with the time of day that you take them. Don't do ANYTHING before you do it (not even sitting up or talking) and drinking the night before can mess with them too. The temps left me guessing and going a little crazy more than a few times. A month before we started trying I switched to the cheap OPKs and still found them frustrating. It was hard to tell definitively when the surge had started. I ended up taking pictures of them and comparing one day to the was a pain. I'd recommend getting the digital tests and trying them for a month before your insemination cycle. Just start using one once a day around day 10 and you should be good.

    If you can track your BBTs and notice the spike...AWESOME! More power to you! I found that I really felt comforted by using the digital tests and KNOWING when the surge was. It was worth the cost to not have to second guess.

  3. If it is one or the other, I'd go with the digital OPKs. For me temperature is not a good guide. It lets me know a 3-4 day span when I probably ovulated, but my chart is not textbook so it isn't super helpful on a consistent basis. I've been charting for over a year.

  4. the bbts were helpful for me to get a sense of my cycle, but when it came down to it we relied on the pee sticks.

  5. We found the BBTs very helpful for showing patterns/figuring out when ovulation occurred. Fern and I both have years (ugh) of charting under our belts. I highly recommend charting for at least a few cycles. I found that I really didn't have to take my temp at the exact same time each morning or worry about the 4 hours of sleep rule too much - just do it when you can and see if a pattern emerges (it did for me). That said, we bought about 6 of those suckers over the years because we kept getting thermometers that didn't work well (same exact temp at 6am and 1pm or only ever giving 1 of 4 options each day). So if you're not getting good results, think about buying a different brand thermometer (we had every drug store and supermarket's brand we could find).

    I know a lot of people find charting really annoying, but we found it empowering. Fern ovulates really early and it was great to know that - fuel for the inevitable doctor fight (when they tell you to start taking OPKs on cd12 and you know you often ovulate on cd11, for example).

    Good luck!