Pregnancy causes numerous changes in your body. Some occur early, even during the first few weeks. In addition to breast tenderness, morning sickness and a missed period, you may notice some important changes in your body temperature. Although you may not feel any warmer, a special thermometer can help you monitor your temperature closely and may indicate the presence of a fertilized egg. By keeping a close eye on your temperature, you can notice any fluctuations.
Basal Body Temperature
Your body maintains a lower temperature during rest than during other activities. Known as a basal body temperature, this resting reading can indicate hormonal changes in your body, such as ovulation and pregnancy. Many women keep track of their fertile periods by tracking their temperature changes throughout the month. Take your basal body temperature first thing in the morning, before you get out of bed and before you drink any fluids.
Because the differences in your basal temperature only vary, increasing between .5 degrees F and 1.6 degrees F, a regular thermometer may not help track these slight changes. A special thermometer, called a basal body thermometer, records temperatures to the 10th degree, making it an extremely accurate thermometer for recording slight variations.
You need to know your average temperature to recognize a significant change in the pattern of your basal body temperature. A graph enables you to mark your resting temperature every day, allowing you to create a basic chart. By recording your temperature each day of the month, you will notice any elevations and decreases in readings.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a woman’s body temperature increases soon after she ovulates. This temperature remains at this slight elevation until her next period. An elevation that continues beyond two weeks, about the time your period normally starts, can indicate pregnancy. Your pregnant basal body temperature will remain at the same temperature you noticed right after ovulation. This temperature varies from woman to woman, but it normally remains near the increased level noted right after ovulation.
Although a sustained increase in your basal body temperature may indicate pregnancy, other factors may contribute to this change. Incorrectly taking your basal temperature or false readings caused by factors, such as taking your temperature at different times each day, drinking water before taking your temperature or recently getting up to go to the restroom, can cause false readings. Other factors that may affect your temperature include lack of sleep, running a fever and fluctuations in bedroom temperatures.
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