I have to admit I’ve been wanting to try Genteel since the minute I laid my eyes on it. There was something so endearing about its vacuum seal that promised a virtually painless drop of blood on my fingertips. However, with a price tag that’s traditionally been around the $200 mark, it’s not something I would ever even consider spending on a lancing device.
This is the Genteel. It’s a bit fatter and a little more complex than your typical lancing device. It was gifted to me earlier this year from a friend who did not want theirs, which brings me to this long overdue post.
There’s six different sized ‘contact tips’ that sit on the tip of the Genteel, varying in depth settings. Genteel’s point of difference is that it is designed for drawing blood from other parts of the body, such as your palm or your arm (eek!).
My box also included a small handful of Genteel’s ‘butterfly touch’ lancets, which is nowhere near enough given the price tag. Genteel promises that these will result in 100% less pain than regular lancing devices. Ordinary lancets can also be used in the Genteel, which promises 27% less pain than a regular lancing device.
I initially found it cumbersome. After trying it out a couple of times, I found myself reaching for my AccuChek FastClix more often than not (I’m a creature of habit). Eventually, I bit the bullet and threw my FastClix into a drawer.
The process of drawing blood is somewhat of a technique. You’ll need to make sure that your contact tip forms an airtight seal around your finger (or any other body part) from where you’re drawing blood. Otherwise it doesn’t work. Then you’ll need to press and hold the activation button for six seconds. This ‘hold’ time following the prick essentially activates the vacuum which draws out the blood.
I settled on contact tip number 2, with number 1 being ‘gentlest’ and number 6 being least gentlest. At times, I did struggle to draw a sufficient amount of blood with the 2 and found myself squeezing my fingers for more. But as the user of an AccuChek Guide that wants sufficient blood in one application (hello, strip fill errors), I’m always a bit paranoid about not having enough. Stepping up to the 3 was a little too painful and bloody for my liking.
I also found that when I drew too much blood, it was prone to splattering inside the nozzle when I released my activation button and broke my airtight seal. It’s a fine balance.
I don’t think I could ever associate pricking my finger with the word painless. But I will say that Genteel was the least painful of any lancing device I have used – with one caveat.
You’ve got to change your lancet.
I would suggest every day. Otherwise, Genteel begins to feel like any other lancing device. Although I was skeptical, Genteel’s butterfly touch lancets also lived up to their word of offering superior comfort. Lancing was noticeably more painful when I used my own lancets. I’d recommend adjusting the contact tip here, but I’m yet to experiment with my own lancets.
I pricked my palm once, and I did get a nice drop of blood there too. But that just grosses me out in general, so I think I’ll be sticking to my fingers.
After several weeks of regular use, Genteel has definitely grown on me. The process of drawing blood feels more natural to me today, and I’m not ‘trying’ so hard with my technique. At the end of this review, I confidently say that I intend to continue using the Genteel as my main lancing device at home – and might even consider picking up some more of the butterfly touch lancets.
Before I started using CGM last year, I was pricking my fingers at least 15 times per day. That’s a lot. Genteel’s price point of approximately AU$150 (for the model reviewed) is still going to be a barrier for many – especially for a lancing device. However if finger pricking still forms a major part of your diabetes management, then Genteel might be a worthy investment.
Genteel’s Australian website has vanished in recent months, so I’m not sure who distributes them locally. However, they do ship internationally from mygenteel.com.
Disclosure: I received my Genteel from a friend. I wasn’t asked to write about it, but they probably knew that I would. Thank you so much, L.