08 Jul Your Temperature and Your Fertility
Your Temperature and Your Fertility
There are two main temperature issues with fertility:
- Being too cold generally.
- The body not achieving the required temperatures during your cycle to conceive.
Being Too Cold Generally
In Chinese medicine you and your uterus must be sufficiently warm to conceive and to nurture new life to birth. Almost all things in nature grow better when it’s warm.
One of the most common problems we see in women who struggle with infertility is that they are just too cold.
There are many reasons why women are too cold including eating too much cold food/drink, not wearing appropriately warm clothing (particularly around the mid-drift), living or working in cold conditions or simply being born that way and their body temperatures have never normalised.
If you are too cold your body may have trouble producing all of the digestive enzymes required (affecting your digestion) and all of the hormones required (affecting your fertility).
Are you too cold? The easy way to find out is to take your oral temperature (under your tongue) first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. This is called your Basal Body Temperature (BBT). If it is below 36.5 degrees you are too cold. If it is below 36.0 degrees you are very cold.
There are ways to help warm yourself up. See our other post about how to warm yourself up for better fertility. If you are very cold or cannot warm up using these self-help methods, you will likely need specific Chinese herbs to do it.
Not Achieving the Required Temperatures During Your Cycle to Conceive
Your BBT should change during the different phases of your cycle. In fact, your changing BBT can help you identify the specific days of the different phases of your cycle.
In the first half of your cycle (follicular phase) you will typically have lower temperatures and in the second stage (luteal phase) you will typically have higher temperatures. This is largely influenced by the different hormones that are produced at different stages of your cycle.
See a ‘normal’ BBT chart below and notice the distinct shift in temperatures between the first half and the second half of the cycle.
Your BBT should rise after ovulation due to the increased amount of progesterone secreted by the corpus luteum. Progesterone produces heat and prepares the lining of the uterus for the implantation of a fertilised ovum. To know exactly when you began ovulating, it was the day immediately before your temperature started to rise.
You’ll see in the chart below that there are lower temperatures BEFORE ovulation and higher temperatures AFTER ovulation. Your temperature should typically rise by a definite 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius during ovulation.
Your temperature should remain elevated for 10-16 days until the corpus luteum regresses. If you are not pregnant your temperature will drop again. If you are pregnant your temperature will stay elevated.
Charting your BBT can also help you inform you when you are ovulating for better timing of intercourse. Knowing when your most fertile window is takes the pressure off having to try all of the time!
Note that the chart image is courtesy of www.fertilityfriend.com This is a great free app to track your temperatures and other signs. We recommend you start doing this straight away.
How to Take Your Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
Take your oral temperature (under your tongue) using a digital thermometer (get one for about $10 from Chemist Warehouse) when you wake in the morning but BEFORE you get out of bed. This is your BBT. The other rules you must follow are no food or water before taking your temp, no speaking or movement (other than putting the thermometer in your mouth) and you must have had a minimum of three hours sleep.
And you need to do this every single day.