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Temping question - digital thermometer gives wildly different readings?!

(25 Posts)
Oompahpah Thu 30-Jul-09 10:52:29

I am temping but hadn't seen much in the way of temp rises or falls.

Yesterday I took first temp as 96.25. Thought that was odd when it has consistently been 96.40 - 96.50 and am expecting to ov, so took it again straight away and it was 96.63!

Today I took first temp as 96.63, second as 96.95, third as 96.76. (all one after the other with no moving around in between).

What should I do? Take the average of the three or accept the first OR highest temperature?

Oompahpah Thu 30-Jul-09 11:12:20


Oompahpah Thu 30-Jul-09 11:49:40

Anyone have experience to share?

cupcakefairy Thu 30-Jul-09 11:53:20

Hm, that is quite odd that it would give such different readings.
I assume you're taking your temp orally? I really recommend taking it vaginally... I know it's not the most appealing thought to stick a thermometer in your fanjo as soon as you wake up but really you can hardly feel it and it honestly makes a huge difference. It's so much more accurate cos the mouth is susceptible to all sorts of change (dryness etc)

To answer your question though- I would take the first reading.

How long have you been temping for? It can take a couple of months to start to see a pattern in your cycle. Good luck

Bettymum Thu 30-Jul-09 11:55:14

How long have you been temping? You really need to do at least a couple of months before you can see patterns. I would take the first temperature of the day - even though you haven't been moving around in between the temps you've taken. Do you always put the thermometer in the same place in your mouth? If not that might make a difference perhaps.
If you take the first temps that you've recorded, you would have had consitent 96.4/5, then a dip to 96.25, then a rise to 96.63 which sounds like you may have just ovulated (although I do it in centigrade so actually I don't know what the shifts would be in farenheight).
How much was your thermometer? Can you afford a new one if all else fails?

Bettymum Thu 30-Jul-09 11:56:30

Ah cross posts but I think we're saying more or less the same thing .

Oompahpah Thu 30-Jul-09 15:45:55

Thanks for replies!

I've only started temping this month - can you tell? grin

Is it usual for temperature to dip at all before rising or is it just one of those random things? I was actually expecting to ov yesterday so it's more than possible that's when it happened, as I have a quite regular 35 day cycle & yesterday was day 21 smile I did get the EWCM but my other test (a saliva one) didn't show anything up.

I don't think I position the thermometer exactly the same every time, sometimes I "bury" the thermometer better under my tongue than other times, so that might allow for the temp differences? Quite possibly my thermometer is too sensitive.

anyway, I'm going to take it vaginally instead and see if it is more consistent. Thanks

Bettymum Thu 30-Jul-09 16:13:27

You can have a dip before ovulation, I normally do - my temp dips down one morning, then shoots up the next morning. I believe the actual ovulation is somewhere in between! Mind you I sometimes get a dip here and there at other times, but over the month you can see the trend.
Is your saliva test the ferning thing? I had one but gave up with it as it always seemed to show the same patterns hmm. My GP said that really the best way to track ovulation was just to temp. Also the EWCM is a good sign!

Oompahpah Thu 30-Jul-09 16:26:43

Thanks Bettymum smile

The saliva test is one of those ferning ones yes, although it's a bit rubbish as the green LED light is right behind the lens and so bright you have to lean away from it or your eyes water if you try & bring it up close.

I thought I saw some ferning on day 18 but nothing on the other days. Was quite disappointed as the ferning should show pre-ovulation changes so you can pinpoint more accurately. Never mind, "only" another £15 wasted! hmm

Still, hopefully I am at least ov so I'm grateful for that - hope I get a pattern going by the time I ttc #2 in November.

cupcakefairy Fri 31-Jul-09 10:36:18

Yes you can definitely get a dip before ovulation. Mine goes up and down before the shift for ovulation.
What you are looking for is the trend throughout the whole cycle, not each individual temp.

Once you get 3 temps that are higher than the previous 6, you have ovulated. Obviously you can only see this in hindsight but after a few months you get to know what your cycle is doing and if you cross reference with the mucus signs you will know when ov is coming up

SummerSky Fri 31-Jul-09 10:49:34

Wondered if I might join in this thread as I think by my thermom I am clinically dead. It is a digital ear one and shows very erratic readings this morning was 92.3 am thinking of taking it back to the shop. Thanks for the tip on vgna readings do you use just a normal digital thermom and excuse me for asking but exactly where do you position it (as I think with mine the probe is making my ear cold and perhaps it is supposed to bounce off of the inner drum and it's hitting the ear wall) - in short positioning IMO is the problem.

Oompahpah Fri 31-Jul-09 11:34:03

Aha! my temp was 97.60 this am so ov must have taken place yesterday or the day before would you think? I take temp at night too (just for fun, not for recording - I only record a.m. temps) and it was up last night from the usual so the temp must have gone up some time yesterday.

Does your temp rise just after ov or at the time of?

Tried it vaginally afterwards and it was the same or less so I think I'll do that from now on. the thermometer was a lot quicker to read it too, presumably because the temp is more stable there.

Summer - are you using the Calpol ear one by any chance? they give notoriously low readings. I would switch to an oral/vaginal digital thermometer, you can buy them on Ebay. I think mine cost £15 or thereabouts but there are cheaper ones. Some come with free charts for TTC (or you can download free one from Fertility Friend).

Oompahpah Fri 31-Jul-09 11:35:45

PS Summer - I positioned the vag. one perhaps 2" in blush

Oompahpah Fri 31-Jul-09 11:36:35

Forgot to say thanks CupcakeFairy, too! smile

cupcakefairy Fri 31-Jul-09 15:32:22

Yes, ovulation occurs before the temp rise, so the day before you get your shift (there's no way of pinpointing exactly when the egg leaves the ovary) so the best time to jump your dh wink is as soon as you start getting any kind of 'fertile' mucus..(the clearer, wetter type) up until 3 days after your rise

To be honest I would not take any notice of an evening temp (I know you said you don't record it) because when you take it first thing in the morning it is the lowest your temp will be (basal temperature)... by the evening any number of things could have affected it.

As for the positioning summer, only needs to be 1 or 2 inches. I tend to press it into the side so I know it's got proper contact with my skin.

I've never used Fertility Friend myself (I use Couple to Couple League charts) but I think you can see lots of example charts on there...

MrsHappy Fri 31-Jul-09 16:56:00

Oompahpah - I used to be able to get my temp to go up by twitching my toes or even by thinking about work! Take the first temp, write it down and disregard any others.

You may get the odd lower one if, for example, your covers fell off or your slept with your mouth open but as others have said it is overall patterns you are looking for.

Also, I used to see a dip on the day of ovulation (because oestrogen, the "cold" hormone) peaks then and the next day my temp rise would happen. So an oddly low temperature might have a logic afterall...

Fertlityfriend has some useful charting FAQs that may help with any questions you have. Or I highly recommend getting a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility. And good luck - I really rate charting, and hopefully you won't be at it for long!

Oompahpah Fri 31-Jul-09 18:05:13

Thanks so much for your advice, Cupcakefairy. This charting malarky is more confusing than it seems at first!!

MrsHappy, I will definitely look up that book. Many thanks for the recommendation smile

SummerSky Sat 01-Aug-09 09:29:29

Thanks for all the great advice, don't you just love these forums - everything you need to know. I am def going to get a new thermometer - what a waste of money the last one was (It wasn't Calpol but equally as rubbish I think). I have got Katie Singers book Garden of Fertility which talks a lot about charting but I will also look at the FF website any help is all so gratefully welcome. On the plus side my temp was up today 96.3 and am CD14 so perhaps I am OV the next couple of days will tell.
Good Luck Ompahpah fingers but not legs crossed!

thefatladyscreams Sat 01-Aug-09 14:03:17

summersky - if you're struggling to find a basal thermometer in the shops, I ordered one really cheaply off Amazon with a load of cheap OVK sticks. It arrived the next day.

SummerSky Sat 01-Aug-09 21:21:26

Hello there FLS I've sneakily moved for the day, must catch up on Monday v busy weekend. I went to Tesco today but all thermometers were sold out (swine flu) will look on ebay and Amazon too. Just eaten far too much not good for BD with a full tummy high or low temp. Have a lovely rest of weekend.

MrsHappy Sun 02-Aug-09 09:10:48

Summersky, you'll be hard pressed to find a basal body thermometer in Tesco. Sometimes it is even hard to find one (that costs less than about £30) in Boots, because most people just want regular ones. Try or the Babymad website ( I think) and order one over the net. They both do quite fast delivery and iirc you can get one for about a fiver.


SummerSky Mon 03-Aug-09 16:50:04

Ahh! Thank you learning everyday even at my ripe age. So I specifically have to get a basal thermometer, are they labelled as such? Will look at Babymad over the next couple of days. Life is catching up with me.

MrsHappy Mon 03-Aug-09 18:48:12

Yes - it will be specifically labelled. Boots do sell them but mine came as part of some fertility monitor thingy which cost quite a lot of money. Still I have been using it for 4 years so it is not all that bad! I've seen some quite good deals on those websites, though.

Meita Tue 04-Aug-09 12:16:55

Hello there,
I've been temp-ing since a few months now, and have gradually learned some stuff. Regarding specifically labelled basal themometers, I read on a temp-ing website (in German, unfortunately) that in fact, you can get any good themometer, it doesn't have to be specifically labelled as basal.

What you need to look out for isassuming you're measuring in celsius)
- If it is digital, you need TWO digits after the comma. That is, it should show 36.47, NOT 36.5 - otherwise it would not be precise enough.
(- When charting, however, you do round your figures up or down to the nearest half degree.)
- It should be water-proof (so that you can use it vaginally if you want)
- NEVER use a ear-themometer.

It helps to measure vaginally, and/or to measure at least for 5 minutes, NOT just until the peep.

Given these specs, you can buy expensive "basal temperature themometers for TTC" or much cheaper themometers which do exactly the same thing but don't carry the special label. When buying, you just have to make sure the themometer conforms to the specs. Most normal themometers just have one post-comma digit.

I was in a good chemist and was offered two themometers - one at £20, one at £3 - they do the same thing! But the expensive one has a different label. However, in every shop I'd been before, they didn't have any themometers at all that record two digits after the comma.

MrsHappy Tue 04-Aug-09 19:44:49

Ah well, out of the ones that I found those labelled basal were the only ones that had 2 decimal places, and they are not expensive (less than £5 or so). Those websites listed below are a good bet - chemists can be a bit hit and miss.

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