How to Take your Temperature for Cycle Tracking
As women, we are so lucky to have such incredible, intuitive, intelligent, powerful bodies. It may not always feel that way when you’re having cramps or mood swings, but there is SO much going on behind the scenes with our hormones and our cycles. We're huge fans of Seed Cycling as a natural way to balance and boost your hormones - and being aware of where you are in your cycle is the first step.
When I started using the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM), also known as the Symptothermal Method, for birth control, I became so clued in on the daily and monthly rhythms our bodies go through.
Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is a natural form of birth control. By tracking your days, basal body temperature, cervical fluid, and symptoms, you’re able to determine when you’re fertile and not. It’s a great way to tune into your hormonal rhythms and how funking awesome our womanly bodies are!
Temperature tracking is a big part of the equation and I was hesitant to get started because I actually thought you were supposed to take your temperature in your vagina! I’m so glad I mentioned it to a friend before I got started - it turns out you just take your temperature normally… with a thermometer under your tongue.
Your basal body temperature is your temperature when you’re fully at rest and it fluctuates throughout your cycle, giving you insight into when you’re ovulating and when you’re about to start your period.
To get the hang of it, start tracking your basal body temperature every day and graphing how it fluctuates throughout the month. I recommend doing it “just for fun” for at least a couple of months, and not relying on it as a form of birth control until you really understand all the signs your body is showing you!
Start tracking your temperature:
- You’ll need a basal thermometer that can measure up to the hundredths (so 98.61 for example). I use the Wink bluetooth thermometer that pairs with the Kindara App (https://www.kindara.com/products/wink).
- Keep your thermometer on your bedside table and take your temperature as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. In your mouth ;-)
- You want to track your temperature at rest, so take it before you start moving around in bed
- Things that can cause your temperature to be out of whack - when you’re sick, slept less than 3 hours before taking your temp, or when you drank alcohol the night before
Here’s what you should be looking for:
- Typically, our temperature is lower before ovulation and slightly elevated after ovulation
- Your temperature will increase slightly when you’re ovulating - look for an increase of up to ½ a degree
- You can assume ovulation happened if your slightly higher temperature remains for at least 3 days
- Detecting your temperature shift can be a great way to confirm that you are actually ovulating. For many of us who recently stopped taking the pill after many years, our ovulatory cycle may still be waking up.
A disclaimer about tracking your temperature and Fertility Awareness Method as birth control. Do not use FAM as your only form of birth control until you really have the hang of things AND you have a regular, predictable cycle. Also, keep in mind that you’re most fertile about 2 days before your temperature rises - which you won’t know until it happens and sperm can live up to 5 days inside of you. The safest bet if you’re avoiding pregnancy, is to avoid unprotected sex from the start of your period until 3-4 days AFTER your basal body temperature rises.
So as you can see this article about not sticking a thermometer in your vagina is not sufficient info to serve as birth control, but hopefully inspires you to learn more! Stay tuned for more content about FAM and our amazing bodies soon.