Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do Not Measure BBT For Ovulation When You Are Sick


Hi, I came down with a mild case of shingles (no pain, just itching) last week. I have had a high BBT (I am tracking my BBT for ovulation and luteal phase) for the past 13 days now (my BBT went up a couple days before I developed a rash). Can having even a mild case effect my BBT? I have been checking my temp through out the day too and it doesn't look like I have a fever. Just trying to make sure my high BBT is actually from ovulating. How long can a luteal phase last? Thanks.


Hello Cathy from the U.S.,

Any inflammation or disease can cause a reaction in your body and elevate your temperature. A BBT would not be valid during that period.

As I have said in a previous posting, I would not analyze the temperature chart so closely anyways. It is not that accurate. Many factors, such as your shingles, can influence the temperature. It is only useful to see if there is a rise in the mid-cycle, which is an indirect measurement of the LH surge, indicating ovulation is going to occur. If you are going to continue using the chart, use it only for that indication i.e. timing of intercourse, and nothing else.

Another option, which I think is more accurate but more expensive is the ovulation predictor kit or OPK. However, with this kit you also cannot evaluate the luteal phase. The only way to evaluate the luteal phase is to do an endometrial biopsy. You will need to begin infertility testing for that.

To answer your last question: The luteal phase is usually 14 days.
Sorry about your shingles, I have had it and it is not a pleasant condition at all!!!


Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
Monterey, California, U.S.A.


  1. Hi Dr. Ramirez, I wanted to email you a question about something I would like your opinion on. How do I contact you?

  2. Feel free to contact me via



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