How often do you need to change a sanitary pad? Good question. Probably it’s more often than you think: not only when you’re about to leak.
As everyone knows, sanitary towels or menstrual pads are used primarily to collect menstrual blood. Most women know from experience when it’s time for a change. It might be because a certain amount of hours have passed, because you feel the blood flow, or because the sanitary towel feels ‘full’.
Nowadays products of the established brands almost always have a top sheet which will stay dry. Therefore you shouldn’t wait until the sanitary towel feels wet.
Bacteria and smells
Most sanitary towels have an absorbent core and a plasticised layer to prevent leakage. But even if there’s no chance of leaking yet, it’s necessary to change the pad regularly. Blood that comes in contact with oxygen starts to smell. Also the plasticised layer can cause moist sultry conditions and both bacteria and fungi love wet heat. This is also the reason that tampons, which are worn inside your body, contain more bacteria than sanitary towels.
Moral of the story: change your menstrual pad regularly. Even if the packing says it’s antibacterial and the top sheet still looks clean. So how often? About once every four hours should do the trick.
- Never flush your used sanitary towels down the toilet. This creates huge sewer blockages. Throw them in a special waste container. No bin in the loo? Roll it up as small as possible, wrap it (in some toilet paper or the packaging of your new sanitary towel) and throw it in the next available bin.
- Always wash your hands after changing your menstrual pad. Naturally you do this anyway after using the toilet.
- It’s known that pads can sometimes feel uncomfortable, also when you change them regularly. Read how how to solve this here.
Period! is an independent, online magazine about all aspects of menstruation. Period! is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you’re suffering from medical complaints, always visit your doctor or GP. Editorial articles can contain affiliate links. Sponsored collaborations can be found in the category Spotlight. Do you have any questions? Check our Contact page.