How Basal Body Temping Helped Me Get Pregnant

Image adapted via Flickr/ tjmwatson
Image adapted via Flickr/ tjmwatson

When we think about getting pregnant, the idea sounds simple enough: Get rid of all barriers to pregnancy, hang out with your partner a lot, and after enough time, it will just happen—even if you don't expect it. Biologically speaking though, a lot of things have to line up just perfectly and be timed exactly right for pregnancy to occur, but I'd say for the majority of people those deep steps to making it all work rarely enter the mind and thought process.

Having faced multiple miscarriages, we turned to basal body temping to help aid us in growing our family.

When it came to my husband and I getting pregnant, we had to think about all the biological processes. For us, pregnancy could never be a “we will just wait and see what happens” event—no matter how much we feel that would have been easier. It had been proven time and time again that waiting it out and just hoping for it to eventually happen would result in heartache and more loss. 

Having faced multiple miscarriages, we turned to basal body temping to help aid us in growing our family. I wanted to understand what was going on — why we were getting pregnant, but only for a short time — and understanding and keeping track of my basal body temperatures did just that. 

According to a leading fertility website, Fertility Friend, basal body temperature (BBT) is defined as “your body temperature at rest as measured with a special Basal Body Temperature thermometer. A rise in BBT occurs after ovulation, making BBT the only fertility sign that is useful for pinpointing the actual day of ovulation.” 

By understanding BBT and analyzing the results of my temperatures and other fertility symptoms, I was able to see clearly on a chart where ovulation occurred and when implantation happened, and this allowed me to visit my doctor as early as possible to get on a plan which included important medication that helped my body stay pregnant. It worked wonders during the stressful trying-to-conceive times.

By the time my husband and I decided to add a fourth child to our family, I was experienced, but I had no idea just how important basal body temping would become. I considered myself a “pro” when it came to these temperatures and interpreting them, and I had no doubts that with its help, we would get pregnant in no time. Getting pregnant had never been my struggle in the past, but this time, something was different. Month after month, I wasn't getting pregnant, and thanks to BBT, I knew why.

It's hard to know when to seek a doctor's help when it comes to fertility. Leading pregnancy associations, including the American Pregnancy Association, suggest getting more information about why pregnancy isn't happening. “When a couple has been unsuccessful at achieving pregnancy after one year, both partners need to go through a comprehensive physical and medical assessment.” In the past, it had never taken me even close to one year to get pregnant, but there I was, sitting at five months and no pregnancy and wondering if I had to wait a full year before seeking medical help.

I would have had to do that—wait a full year—but I was already feeling stress, and it was only five months in, and I just knew something wasn't right. Many doctors won't look into what's going on or why it's taking longer than you hoped until you pass that 12-month mark, but thanks to BBT, I had my reason for not conceiving right there in my monthly charts, and I took that straight to my doctor.

You see, I wasn't ovulating. Those temperatures I took each morning didn't show any dip or rise in temperatures that is common in a normal cycle. It happened for about four months in a row and, well, as we know, it's pretty impossible to get pregnant on your own if you're not ovulating. I went to my doctor with my charts in hand and showed him that ovulation wasn't happening. With that, I saved seven months of powering through it and moved on to testing to find out why that was happening (this can sometimes be invasive). We mapped out a plan—not wasting any time or adding more stress with it. 

Basal body temping not only helped me get pregnant, but it kept me in the infertility cycle for a much shorter time than I could have been there. Being in tune with your body is never a bad thing, and for me, those daily temperatures helped me get and stay pregnant and become a mom four times over!

:: Have you done BBT? What are your thoughts and experiences with it? Share in the comments! ::

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How Basal Body Temping Helped Me Get Pregnant

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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1 comment

  1. TaKeisha says:

    I used to chart my BBT, but after months of not being/getting pregnant I gave up charting all together….I no longer had the patience for it.


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