By Kirsten Karchmer

Why I Prefer Basal Body Temperature Charting Over Ovulation Trackers

Why I Prefer Basal Body Temperature Charting Over Ovulation Trackers

If you've been following me for a while, you know how much I dislike ovulation trackers. They often cause unnecessary stress and fail to address the underlying issues that may be causing irregular cycles in the first place. These devices can be expensive, and I notice that people tend to become obsessive about data that won't necessarily affect their ability to conceive and maintain a pregnancy. Instead, they might ignore critical factors like stress, insulin resistance, weight, and energy levels, which are well-documented in medical literature to impact fertility.

The Importance of a Regular Menstrual Cycle

For optimal fertility, a menstrual cycle length of approximately 28 to 32 days is ideal. Why is this? Your cycle length determines when you will ovulate. Typically, ovulation occurs about 14 days before the start of your next period. For example, if you have a 28-day cycle, ovulation usually happens on day 14.
  • Short Cycles: If you ovulate earlier, the follicles may not have enough time to mature optimally, compromising fertility.
  • Long Cycles: If your cycle is 32 days or longer, ovulation happens too late, and the follicle may become over-mature.

Why I Dislike Ovulation Trackers

Ovulation trackers can be stressful and often miss the underlying issues causing irregular cycles. Instead, I recommend using basal body temperature (BBT) charting, which is free and provides valuable insights into your cycle. BBT charting helps identify underlying problems, track ovulation, and monitor progress as you work on improving these issues.

How to Start Basal Body Temperature Charting

If you're not currently taking your basal body temperature, I strongly encourage you to start. Many people avoid it because they find it stressful or forget to do it. Here’s a simple trick to help you remember:

Tip: Place your thermometer on top of your phone before going to bed. When you wake up and reach for your phone, you'll see the thermometer and be reminded to take your temperature.

What Are We Aiming For?

In my 25 years of working with over 10,000 women, I've found that the ideal BBT chart for optimal fertility looks like this:
  • Pre-Ovulation: Temperatures average around 97°F.
  • Post-Ovulation: Within approximately three days of ovulation, the temperature surges to the 98s and stays there until the day before your period, when it drops.
Your temperatures may not look like this ideal chart initially, and that's okay. The goal is to use this information to understand your specific underlying issues and create a customized plan to address them.

Tracking Progress

Your BBT chart reflects many factors, and when you combine the right solutions in a targeted way, your temperatures will adjust accordingly. This process may not be fast, but you should see consistent improvement month over month.

Avoid Expensive Devices

Please don't spend a lot of money on ovulation or BBT tracking devices. Tracking is useful, but taking action to address the issues you track is far more important. I recommend a simple, affordable thermometer that gets the job done. You can find it in our store, The Clean Cabinet, on sale for $11.00.


Basal body temperature charting is an excellent tool for understanding and improving your fertility. It helps you identify and address underlying issues, track ovulation, and monitor progress. By focusing on the root causes of irregular cycles and making targeted changes, you can improve your chances of conceiving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.For more personalized guidance, you can sign up for early access to Kirsten AI, which will help you figure out what you need to do to improve your cycle and temperatures. Early access users will get a 50% discount, making it just $15.00—a deal of a lifetime!Remember, tracking is good, but taking action to fix what you track is even better.

Want to Start Improving Your Fertility?

Meet your new, 100% personalized, available 24/7 fertility coach, Kirsten AI. She will help you identify all of the underlying issues impacting your fertility, make a plan to fix them and support you day in and out on your journey to motherhood.