Recently, I talked about my bipolar BBT. While it used to stay pretty steady around 97.18°F (before ovulation), it’s been unpredictable ever since the loss of Teddy Graham, and has become much more so in the last two months. Of course, this has forced me into googling the heck out of it. And here are a few interesting things I have found related to temping:
- Normal temps in the follicular phase are 97.0-97.7°F (36.11-36.5°C for my readers abroad) and 97.7-97.9°F (36.5-37.22°C) in the luteal phase.
- The most accurate way to take your BBT is vaginally or rectally. (Um, no thanks!)
- Factors that control the BBT are: nutrition, estrogen levels, cortisol levels, stress (or lack thereof), quality of sleep, your thyroid, and the weather.
- High fat intake and alcohol can increase your BBT. Sleeping with your mouth open can decrease it.
- Some fluctuation is normal, but too much should be looked into. (Sources disagree on what “too much” is. Most say there should not be more than a day-to-day difference of .5, but one did say not more than a full degree.)
- It’s normal to have erratic BBTs during your period.
- For a very unstable BBT, estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, and thyroid hormone levels should be checked.
- With thyroid problems, temperatures may be too high or too low. With stress, temps are often unstable (very different every day). And with major hormonal imbalances, the length of the follicular phase is often too long or too short (this can also be caused by PCOS, nutritional deficiencies, and lack of blood flow to the uterus).
- Clomid can cause higher temps around the time of taking the actual medication and is also more likely to cause a triphasic chart even when no pregnancy is achieved. (It is also more common to have a long luteal phase when on this med.)
- Temperatures that are increased for 18 days or more are usually an indication of pregnancy, but can also be caused by an extended luteal phase that results from a corpus luteum cyst or from taking Clomid.
- After ovulation, it can be normal to see a dip in temperature (even below the coverline), which is caused by a secondary estrogen surge and may also cause extra CM. The temp should go back above the coverline after this surge, however. (I saw this in both of my pregnancies, so I know it’s true!)
- Temps may dip at the time of embryo implantation, and then rise again as more progesterone is produced.
- Stress can mess with cortisol levels, which can in turn lower the amount of progesterone produced by your body and cause your temp to drop prematurely and your cycle to be shorter than usual.
- Emotional stress often reveals itself as an up and down movement of temperature from one day to the next.
So that’s a whole lot of info…and who knows if any of it is accurate? You know Dr. Google! But it’s given me a starting point to figuring all of this out and I’m most interested in the last two points. My last cycle was the shortest one I’ve had. Ever. And my temp has been bouncing up and down every. single. day. So is it stress causing all of this craziness, like my sources say? It would make sense, wouldn’t it? TTC and infertility is too much stress for anyone, but add to that the loss of a baby and my relationship with my sis and I feel like I’ve never been under more stress in my life.
It’s a lot to handle and so I think my new focus will be reducing the stressors in my life. It would be impossible to eradicate them all, but I will do what I can. My husband asked me the other day, “Are you feeling relaxed?” And I responded with “I don’t know. How do I tell?,” which he found hilarious and concerning. It’s true — I don’t even know how to sit still and put my feet up and relax. I don’t know what that feels like. So it’s time to change it. It’s time to go a little slower, limit my “to do” list, have some idle and quiet time, and take care of myself.
What do all of you do to relax and reduce stress at the most stressful times in your lives?