Sensor Placements

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday

I have been using my g4 system for several days now and I really love it :) I noticed the owners manual states that the sensor should be placed on the users stomach. Where else have you put your sensor, and does anyone know why dexcom specifies the stomach area? Are some places more "accurate" than others? I've also noticed some users wearing the sensors for more than seven days. Does this reduce accuracy or increase the level of infection on the site? I would like to make my supplies last but gather some opinions on this topic :)


The FDA approval was based on using it on your abdomen, but it can be used anywhere there's fatty tissue for the sensor wire to go in. I've never actually used mine there, I've only ever put it on my upper buttock/lower back/love handle area. I'm planning to try my arm with my next sensor change.

And I always use a site for two 7-day periods. I find that it improves accuracy--the first day of my second week is more accurate than the first day of the first week. The rest of the days are all equally accurate for me. I've only been using a Dexcom since November but I've not had any problems with infection or irritation. I could probably get away with a third 7-day period, but I'm always ready to switch after two weeks. :)

I have only placed a Dexcom sensor on my abdomen once and that was the first time more than 2 years ago. Currently my sensor is on day 12 on the side of my right breast. I will wear it until it starts to get less accurate or starts to miss readings or gives me the dreaded ??? or it gets uncomfortable. My last sensor was accurate and comfortable for 33 days on the back of my left arm. I have worn sensors on my upper thighs with really good results.I recently read on Facebook about people using their calves for sensors as well. The threat of infection with a sensor is minimal. It is not like a pump site and does not infuse anything. It is an inert metal wire not a cannula. I prep a site with an alcohol wipe and just stick the sensor down after it has dried. I've never had an infection and so far knock on wood have not had any skin reactions to the adhesive. I use an Omnipod pump so I have 2 things adhered to my skin at all times and neither site has ever been a problem.

The FDA approval for the sensor is seven days. I am currently on my third week with my sensor. We are traveling so I will be changing the sensor before we travel. I am finding the second and third weeks are more accurate within a point or two.

I pretty much use my abdomen and I leave one sensor on for two weeks. Starts getting funky results after 14 days on me. I might start trying my back upper arms and my upper buttock. I just started the Omnipod today so now there is competition for real estate.

I use my chest (on the side area) for Dex sites to good result. I am currently on day 14 with steadily accurate readings +/- 10 points. I have gone longer to about 21 days, but 2 weeks seems to be about the sweet spot for me for comfort and accuracy.

Interesting! Do you just stop the sensor and start it right back up again? I tried looking up resources on the dexcom website but didn’t have much luck. Where do you get your FDA information from? I am interested in reading up on that.

Yep, I just stop and immediately start. As for the FDA info, I don't remember where I got that from, but that's what they used when submitted the request for approval.

WOW. On your breast? Sorry, but that is a bit shocking for me! I have SUCH a hard time inserting my sensor on my stomach, I don't think I would be able to place it on my breast! Does it get irritated at all when you wear a bra? I wear an insulin pump as well so I am slowly getting used to having two placements on my body at the same time. Idk if I could go back to daily injections.

Thanks for your reply! Where do you go to get your FDA information from? I'd really like to look through some of it.

Competition for real estate! haha, thats a good one :)

Do you place your sensors on your arm/upper buttocks by yourself or do you have some sort of assistance?

I think I might try 2 weeks!

Yes on the side of my breast. When I place a sensor I do it while I have my bra on to avoid bad placement. The bra supports it and keeps it from moving around especially during sports. I played tennis tonight and skied all weekend and didn't notice it was even there. Since I wear them for 3-4 weeks inserting a new sensor is a rare event and so long as I do it quickly it doesn't hurt and is over in a flash.
I got the Omnipod 6 months after I started with Dexcom. If I had to give one of them up, I would go back to injections. Dexcom has helped me regain some hypo awareness and allows both my husband and me to sleep well at night. It is a great tool and with the Pod helped me to get my A1C to non-diabetic levels. My last one was 5.8. Considering I am celebrating my 40th Diaversary in May I'm thrilled with the improved control.

I use a similar location. I sweat a lot and find that the Dexcom tends to be more accurate when I exercise when it is located on the side of my chest than in other locations. I go 2-3 weeks most of the time. Though I've had a couple go longer, I usually start to see problems with readings and ??? during week three. The biggest challenge leaving the sensor in longer is the tape -- I use Opsite Flexfix to help keep the sensor secure over the long haul - repairing that tape as needed along the way.

Ironically, I have the most (though minimal) discomfort the first two days after inserting a new sensor - which adds a little encouragement to keep them in longer - after day 3, I rarely even know where the sensor is without feeling for it!

What a great a1c! Good for you! Hard works pays off for sure :) I am trying to fine tune my insulin levels and lower my a1c. My last one was an 8 :/

Do you find any difference in accuracy with placing the sensor horizontally or vertically?

Also is there an difference in accuracy when placing the sensor vertically or horizontally?

The orientation of the sensor does not seem to impact accuracy, but it does affect comfort and also the tendency to get ??? after showers. I place it vertically on my thighs, arms, and breast with the narrower end facing up. This allows water to drip off without collecting under the transmitter. If it's on my stomach I put it horizontally but as I said I have only done this once before. I always surround it with a square of 4" Opsite Flexifix tape which I got on Amazon. It stays firmly stuck until I peel it off.

Good to hear. I appreciate all the helpful info as a new dexcom user! Do you have any assistance when you place your sensor on the back of your arm? Or do you do everything solo?

I place the sensor solo, my husband will help me put the Opsite tape on though. Here is a good YouTube for Dexcom arm placement.

I have only had the Dexcom for a month.

The first site I tried was the middle of the hip, but the readings were not good there because it stopped giving readings overtime I sat down.

I would like to know if anyone has had any luck with the (lower) hip. The reason I want to know is that I really would prefer to use sites that can be kept hidden. I prefer people not to know my business.

The second one I placed on my abdomen, and as of today it has been on for three weeks. Get this. . .someone stated on this site that the longest they ever had one on was for 33 days!

By the way, even though I am not yet thirty years old (lie lie lie), i will have my 44th Di anniversary in June/July of this year.

My A1Cs are always around 6.0, so my doctor suggested I get a cgm because he is afraid my sugars go too low. But I know I have had high sugars too, so I am glad to have the Dexcom, and I think it is a much better cgm than the medtronic cgm.

Again - has anyone had success with sensor placement in an area that can be covered by underwear/gym shorts?