Lesson 23 – Interpreting Chart Patterns

Lesson Objectives:

  • Recognize different types of fertility chart patterns.
  • Understand how to interpret a variety of chart patterns.

Major Points in this Lesson:

  • Fertility charts can differ from the ideal.
  • Non-ideal chart patterns can be more challenging to interpret.

Women often choose to chart their basal body temperature (BBT) in an attempt to track ovulation. Using an in-ear thermometer can help you build a chart that can tell you when you are most fertile and likely to conceive. However, not all women have an “idea” fertility pattern, making it more difficult to determine when you are most likely to get pregnant. It is crucial to learn and understand the various pattern types that can occur.

Erratic Temperatures

Experiencing erratic temperatures can be frustrating when trying to establish fertility patterns. Non-ideal temperature readings can have a wide range of causes, some that can be controlled and some that cannot. 

One of the most common reasons that women experience erratic BBTs is caused by user error. If you fail to take your temperature at the same time each day, you may not get proper results. It is best to take your temperature immediately upon waking after at least three hours of sleep. Check your BBT before getting out of bed or moving around too much. Using an in-ear thermometer can give you the most accurate results. 

Illnesses like the common cold and hormonal issues can also result in erratic temperatures. If you have recently stopped taking hormonal contraception, know that it can take up to one year before your cycles return to normal. During the first few months it’s common to experience erratic temperatures, as well as delayed ovulation. 

Ambiguous Shift

In some cases, the temperature shifts noted on your fertility chart may be ambiguous. It is not always clear when or if ovulation has occurred. However, that does not mean that it’s impossible to narrow down the date using BBT in combination with other symptoms. 

Take note of when your temperature rises very slowly. There may be some slight dips during the rise and there may appear to be some conflicting information that could make it difficult to determine if ovulation has occurred. While you may not be able to accurately target ovulation, you may be able to locate a fertility window in which you could possibly conceive. 

Tracking your basal body temperature is an effective way to determine when you ovulation for better odds of conception. However, it is not always easy to interpret your results, especially if your chart is non-ideal. By understanding non-ideal charting possibilities, you can more easily learn your unique chart patterns.