Troubleshooting a confusing BBT chart 📈❓📉



Last updated:


min read

For some women, it can seem like there’s no rhyme or reason to their BBT charts whatsoever. Temperatures just look completely rocky and erratic. (WTF, are these my body temperatures or some company’s third quarter sales earnings??)  If this sounds like you or you’re having issues discovering your BBT patterns, check out the troubleshooting list we put together down below.

  1. Check your digital thermometer. It has to be a thermometer designed to read BBT. If you’re sure that it is, double-check to make sure that the batteries are working. (Note: tapping thermometer while yelling “Is this thing on?” is not viable method of checking the batteries.)
  2. If your thermometer is fine, think about changing to a glass BBT thermometer. This type works better and more accurately for some women. (Remember though, don’t switch your method mid-cycle.)
  3. Alternatively, consider temping vaginally instead. (“Temping vaginally = taking your temperature vaginally”  We apologize for anyone working for a temp agency who was momentarily confused by and/or very excited about a new job prospect).  Vaginal readings can provide more reliable and accurate results for some women. (The same goes for here about not switching your method mid-cycle.)
  4. Make sure that you’re temping at the same time every day. Sleeping in even just an hour longer can increase your waking temperature. (If you’re lucky, eventually “being woken up at 7AM by your Basal body temperature alarm” will eventually be replaced by “being woken up at 3AM by your baby” #GOALS)
  5. Try consistently leaving your thermometer in for an extra minute or two after the reading is done.
  6. Figure out if there are any factors in your environment or habits causing these effects. Disturbances, like disrupted sleep or drinking the night before, can affect your BBT.

While the issues above can sometimes explain why some women experience erratic BBT patterns, there can be other health-related causes or conditions as well. If you’re 100% sure that you’re tracking properly but still experience cycles of rocky temps without any clear pattern, you may want to bring this up with your doctor and talk about what could be going on.

GlowGPT content was prepared by staff writers at Glow with the help of AI tools. The information is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical or other professional advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it. AI systems are rapidly evolving and given the probabilistic nature of machine learning, use of this system may in some situations result output that is incorrect, incomplete, or does not accurately reflect real people, places, or facts. You should evaluate the accuracy of any output as appropriate for your use case, including by using human review of the output. We strongly recommend that you consult with a qualified health provider before making any decisions regarding your, your child’s, or any other person’s health based on information provided here.