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Part II: Check your MENSTRUAL CYCLE - measure body temperature

Del II: Få koll på din menscykel - mät kroppstemperatur 

Today we continue our three-part mini-series where we go over the basics of getting a handle on our menstrual cycle. In Part I , we went into everything you need to know about your fertile secretions and how you can use them as a tool in your menstrual cycle. Today we're going into Part II, everything you need to know about your basal body temperature, how to best measure it and what affects it. Your basal body temperature is a measure of your body temperature when you are completely at rest and is the best tool to confirm that you have ovulated.

How does my body temperature change depending on where I am in my menstrual cycle?

Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, your basal body temperature will change . Progesterone , which is the dominant hormone in phase 3 , has a thermogenic effect on the body (which means that the body temperature increases). Your progesterone levels increase after ovulation, which means that your body temperature will increase by about 0.2-0.6 degrees and be higher from ovulation until the next period.

The reason it's good to keep track of your basal body temperature is simply because:

  1. Confirm that you have ovulated , in other words it cannot predict ovulation but that is why you want to keep track of your discharge .
  2. Predict when your period will come-

How do I measure body temperature correctly?

First of all, you need a thermometer that measures to two decimal places.

1. Take your temperature first thing in the morning before you get out of bed

In order for you to get as accurate a temperature as possible when your body is completely at rest, you need to get at least 5 hours of continuous sleep. For example, if you get up and walk, drink a glass of water or go to the toilet before taking the temperature, you will not get an accurate measurement. So the best way to remember to take your temp is to have it close at hand so you can take it first thing in the morning, before you get up!

2. Leave the thermometer for at least 5 minutes before pressing the button

In order to get an accurate measurement of your temperature, it is important to leave the thermometer in your mouth for at least five minutes before pressing the button. Because when you leave the temp in your mouth for a few minutes before pressing the button, it gets a chance to warm up (otherwise it's easy for the temperature to be lower than it really is). We usually see these five minutes as a perfect opportunity to meditate or do a quick body scan. A magical way to start the day. Win-win!

3. Take your temperature around the same time every morning

Your basal body temperature increases every 30 minutes you sleep. So if, for example, you get up at 6 a.m. one morning and 10 a.m. another morning, you will notice a difference in your temperature. But, of course we don't get up at exactly the same time every day, so it's not something you should stress about, it's just important to know and be aware of. It's more important to get a good night's sleep than to get up earlier to take your temperature (sleep is key to the menstrual cycle). So find a relaxed approach to this! The intention may be to take the temp around the same time every day, but if it's the case that you get up much earlier or later than usual or you've had a rough night - write a little note about it in your app or calendar and have you keep an eye on it.

What affects my body temperature?

There are several things in our everyday life that affect the basal body temperature. By taking your temperature, you will learn how different things in your everyday life have an impact on your body and your resting temperature. That's why it's a great tool to write notes because then it becomes easier to go back at the end of the cycle if something is unclear and see what affected your temperature!

Different parts of everyday life that can affect your basal body temperature:
Stress, what time you get up, illness or fever, alcohol (affects your temperature the next day), travel and different time zones, food allergies, drinking something in the morning before you take your temperature, taking the temperature at different times or holding the thermometer differently long.

We are all different so how we are affected by the above factors is simply different. For some it can be a big difference, while for others hardly any at all. Your job is to get to know yourself and what factors affect you so that you can get as accurate a measurement as possible. And remember that there is no such thing as perfect when it comes to tracking our cycle and our temperature - what it's about is getting to know our body and being able to identify which parts of your everyday life affect your body in particular.

How do I know I ovulated by measuring my body temperature?

To confirm ovulation by temperature measurement, you need at least three "normal" days where your basal body temperature is higher than the previous six "normal" days. Normal means that your temperature is not higher because, for example, you slept differently or you were sick. Often, the temperature increase lasts throughout your phase three, that is, the period from ovulation to the next period. If, for example, you have a high temperature for more than 16 days after ovulation, it may be an early sign that you are pregnant.

Remember that your basal body temperature only shows when you have ovulated, it cannot tell when you will ovulate (and it is the period before ovulation that we are fertile) so it is important that you combine this with keeping track of your fertile secretions to avoid possible pregnancy.

Here you can read about part I in understanding your menstrual cycle - tracking body temperature and part III - getting to know your cervix.


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