You’re trying to conceive, and as if that weren’t taxing enough, you’re suddenly confronted with a whole new language you have to learn: implantation dip, BBT, HCG, temping—and of course, TTC.
Someone needs to bring out a manual. (Look at that: we did.)
Right. So what is an implantation dip, what does it have to do with your BBT and hCG, and what does any of this mean for you if you’re TTC? Phew.
Let’s take a look.
What is an implantation dip?
An implantation dip might give you some clues as to whether a fertilized egg has attached itself to the lining of your uterus. In doing so, it may give you some insight into whether you’re pregnant or not pregnant. (Take heed of the mights and somes and mays. There is a lot of grey area here.)
So what is actually dipping here? To answer that, we first have to tackle two other concepts. The first one is BBT, and the second is the chart that BBT is tracked on.
BBT stands for Basal Body Temperature. Basically, it’s your temperature when your body is at rest. A good time to measure it is when you’ve just woken up after a decent(ish) night’s sleep (at least a few hours in a row).
But hold on—what does this have to do with an implantation dip?
Well, your BBT is a handy way to track where you’re at in your menstrual cycle. When you’re ovulating, your BBT goes up a few degrees. This is caused by hormone fluctuations—most specifically of progesterone.
About two to three days before your temperature rises, your chances of conceiving (might) be at their highest.
When you’re TTC, one method you can use to help you on your journey is to track your BBT on a chart. This method gives you insight into when you’re ovulating so that you know the best time to try.
Your BBT chart may also give you insight into whether implantation has occurred.
This is how it works.
Implantation dip chart
Tracking your BBT on a chart is one of the simplest, cost-effective methods to get insight into what’s happening with your hormones and cycles—all of which can be useful if you’re TTC.
Basically, you log your BBTs on a chart over a period of about three months to get a sense of the patterns. It’s a good idea to measure your BBT at the same time every day so that your graph points are as consistent as possible.
The implantation dip will happen in your luteal phase. Need a refresher on the phases of your menstrual cycle? Roughly speaking, your cycle is made up of three phases:
Follicular: The time between the first day of your period and ovulation. In this phase, your BBT will be around 97.5°F—which is on the lower end of the spectrum.
Ovulatory: The time when you’re ovulating. Your temperature should dip a little just before you release an egg. Once it’s released, your BBT will rise to somewhere between 97.6 °F and 98.6 °F. It will stay that way for a few days.
Luteal: This is the period from about seven days after you ovulate to when your cycle starts again. This phase gets its name from something called the corpus luteum. Basically, each month, your egg gets released from a dominant follicle. If fertilization happens, that follicle will seal itself off and become the corpus luteum, a little progesterone manufacturing plant that will help out during the early phases of pregnancy. If fertilization doesn’t occur, it will leave with your period.
Is there a dip in BBT during implantation?
If you’re not pregnant, your BBT will usually drop a few days after you ovulate and stay that way. This signals that your period has arrived or is on its way.
With an implantation dip, your BBT falls as usual, stays that way for about a day, and then rises again. Hence your body temperature during implantation may appear as a “dip.”
When does implantation dip occur?
The implantation dip may happen about a week after ovulation.
We don’t know for sure what causes this dip. It may be because of an estrogen surge which will either happen because you’re pregnant or because you’re in a specific phase in your cycle.
If you think that you’re pregnant, the next step is a pregnancy test, which will check your hCG levels in your pee or blood. HCG is also known as the pregnancy hormone. Anything above 25 mIU/mL is usually considered positive for pregnancy.
How long after implantation dip does hCG rise?
One to two weeks after implantation happens, your hCG levels will start to rise. (Yes, these can be the longest two weeks of your life.)
You may start experiencing some early pregnancy symptoms at this point, including:
- Light bleeding
Some women experience no symptoms at all. There are just so many different ways to travel this journey.
Does implantation dip always happen?
If you don’t see a dip, it doesn’t mean you’re not pregnant. Also, the dip sometimes occurs in the charts of people who aren’t pregnant.
Unfortunately, we just cannot take the implantation dip as a sure thing. There are also so many reasons why your BBT might fall and rise (stress, sleep, sickness, alcohol usage). This can make the journey of TTC even more of a rollercoaster.
We hear you—TTC can be seriously stressful. Sometimes it can feel like a full-time job. And the job has no clear brief. And you don’t get the feedback you need. And you feel burnt out from it. And it feels like nobody cares.
Be gentle with yourself. Reach out to others who are going through the same thing. Nobody should have to navigate this alone.