Tips for Successful Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Image obtained from Medtronic.

Location, Location, Location

Choosing the right location is the first important step to ensure you get the most out of using continuous glucose monitoring.  It is a good idea to place the sensor on the other side of your body to your infusion set.  The sensor needs to be sited in a position where it won’t get bent or have pressure placed over it, so keep it away from areas covered by tight clothing, such as a waist band, or an area of your body that you tend to lie on at night. If you sleep on your back, wear your sensor on your stomach. If you tend to sleep on your stomach and sides, the upper part of your bottom would be the better location.  Those people who get the most extended wear from a single sensor -the longest being 9 weeks – use their thigh or arm.

Remove the tape first

Once you have loaded the sensor into the One Press Serter, turn the inserter upside down and gently remove the paper backing tape.


Have the thumbprint on the inserter pointing to the ground when inserting a new sensor. This way the transmitter sits on top of the sensor, rather than on the side, resulting in less movement to the sensor. Remember to use gentle pressure and don’t push the inserter too firmly onto your skin as this will increase the risk of bleeding.


Each time you insert a sensor it will go through a warm up period. This can take up to two hours. Your pump will then tell you it’s time to calibrate. The first two calibrations are SO important because they set up the sensor life.  Do the calibrations before you have something to eat, when your blood glucose level is more stable. It is also important that you use the Contour Link meter when calibrating.

It is best to do the first calibration as soon as the pump tells you to. If you have just eaten, you can insert the sensor and wait for the sensor to be recognised. Then turn the sensor settings on your pump OFF. Turn the sensor setting ON when you are sure your BGL is stable.  Give the pump some time to find the sensor and it will then ask for your first calibration- warm up will be skipped.

A second calibration is required within 6 hours of the first.  We suggest you do the second calibration as soon as pump has finished processing the first calibration. Doing the first two calibrations back to back improves the accuracy of the sensor.

The sensor needs at least one calibration every 12 hours so if you don’t want to be woken up in the middle of the night always calibrate before bed.

Once you have your sensor up and running you should calibrate three times each day

  1. When you first wake up (before breakfast)
  2. Before lunch
  3. Before bed

You can also calibrate before dinner if you like but DON”T use every BGL reading to calibrate if you are checking your blood glucose levels more frequently than this.  Calibrating after a meal, when your glucose level is changing quickly, will only stress your sensor (and you)!

Total Diabetes Care