Trying to Conceive: Can You Detect Pregnancy by BBT Changes?

Is there any way for me to determine if I am pregnant prior to my missed period solely by using the BBT and/or changes in cervical mucus?


Toni Weschler, MS

Toni Weschler is the author of the popular book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. By offering a simple and effective means of identifying... Read more

Yes. Often women have what is referred to as a tri-phasic temperature shift when the egg implants in the uterine lining. In the first part of your cycle, which is dominated by estrogen, your waking temperatures are relatively low. After you ovulate, your temperatures usually rise to a new level, where they remain for about 12 to 16 days until you bleed again during menstruation.

When you conceive, the egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube, after which it takes about a week to travel to the uterus, where it ultimately implants. It is at this time that the woman's body is finally able to detect that she is indeed pregnant, because it is then and only then that the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chronic gonadotropin) is released and ultimately detected, first in the blood, and then the urine. When hCG is released, women often experience a third level of temperatures, which is the "tri" in tri-phasic. Often this third series of temperatures is not as dramatic as the first thermal shift, but can usually be seen anywhere from about a week to twelve days after the first rise in temperatures.

As far as cervical fluid, pregnant women often experience a lot of creamy secretions throughout their pregnancy, but this often is not obvious until a little later in the pregnancy.

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