Friday, January 2, 2015

What if I forget to take my temperature?

Between traveling for the holidays and staying up WAY too late for New Years, I've forgotten to take my temperature, or gotten wonky temperatures, a few times in the past two weeks. I suspect I'm not alone :)

How to deal with missing data? First, consider where you are in your cycle.

  • If you've already observed 3 high temperatures and no mucus, indicating that ovulation has occurred, and you haven't gotten your next period yet, a missing temperature doesn't matter.
  • If you are in the very beginning of your cycle, the missing temperature probably won't matter. Wait until you see signs of ovulation - at that point, if the missing temperature is more than 6 days prior to ovulation, it doesn't matter.
  • If the missing temperature is within 6 days of when you think you've ovulated, or it's in the 3 days you are looking for higher temperatures to indicate ovulation has taken place, proceed with caution! If there's only one missing temperature, add an extra day of abstinence. If there's multiple missing temperatures, proceed with even more caution.
It's also good to keep in mind that, while mucus and cervical checks alone are adequate for determining ovulation, if traveling has disrupted your schedule enough to interfere with temperature taking, it has likely affected these symptoms as well. Staying up late, drinking, time zone changes, illness, and common medications (antihistamines and cold medications especially!) can all effect waking temperature and mucus.

Happy New Year!

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