Insulin pump & continous glucose monitor
5 December, 2017
I have type 1 diabetes and wear an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. The continuous glucose monitor has a sensor that is inserted into my skin and is attached to a transmitter and taped onto my skin. This stays on for about 10–40 days (until the sensor "dies"). This device reads my blood sugars every 5 minutes and alerts me if it's going to high or low. Am I able to keep this on when at the mikva? It's hard to time the insertion of this device around the mikva, as once a sensor stops working, I almost immediately put in a new one (as I have tried leaving it off for a few days and my blood sugar has gone dangerously low in the middle of the night).
Similarly – I was wondering if I'm able to keep my infusion site for my insulin pump on as well – or if this has to be removed. This is a small canula/tubing that is inserted under the skin and is attached by a piece of tape on the skin. This gets removed every 3 days and a new one is inserted in…
Since the infusion set needs to be changed every three days, it is considered a chatzitzah and must be removed prior to immersion. You can try to time it so that your immersion will be around the time you need to change the piece.
You should perform all your preparations for immersion with the infusion set and catheter still attached. Just before immersion, you should remove the entire piece and clean off any sticky residue on your body. After immersion, you should insert the new infusion set right away. This way, you will only have the insulin pump removed for a matter of minutes.
Regarding the sensor, in general, if something will be on your body for more than 30 days, in a case of need there is room to permit immersing with it in place. Since your sensor is not always in place for more than 30 days, it is difficult to permit immersion with it in place. Is it possible to remove it just for tevilah and immediately replace the same sensor? Or must a new one be inserted? If there are other factors that would warrant leniency to immerse with the sensor in place, please get back to us with more details.
Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.
This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.
For further questions or comments:
The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.
Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.