Your flow may fluctuate from time to time depending on your age and body type. The most crucial aspect to consider when determining how frequently to change your pad is the fact that having heavy days and light days is quite natural. Naturally, you'll need to replace it more often on days with high absorption and less frequently on days with low absorption. In general, just pay attention to your body and switch to a fresh pad whenever the one you're using isn't feeling as cosy.
So how often should one change their pads?
Most experts agree that you should switch up your sanitary pad every 4-6 hours. Since most sanitary pads are not designed for excessive flow and may fill up, spill, or leak if overused, those who experience heavy flow periods may need to change them more frequently. At the beginning of your period, when you bleed more heavily, this might not be enough. You might need to change your pad now every 2-3 hours. However, as was previously said, there is no fixed answer that will apply to all menstruators. For the first few months, keep track of your flow; this will help you decide whether to change your pad to a heavy flow pad or a regular flow pad and figure out what suits you the best. Carrying an additional pad with you at all times will ensure that there are no surprises, and you can always be prepared for your periods. It's crucial to change your pads frequently in order to maintain proper cleanliness and avoid issues such as toxic shock syndrome or UTIs. Additionally, it will make you feel clean and fresh the entire day! It's often advised to change your pads when it has absorbed maximum blood, or it has been more than 5 or 6 hours. The reasons for the same being:
Unpleasant odour for keeping a pad too long
Keeping a sanitary pad for too long can cause an unpleasant odour. Bacteria, mucus, and other bodily fluids are frequently combined with blood when it leaves the vagina. This can produce damp, moist, or even rotting odours if it is trapped in the pad for an extended period of time.
Leads to rashes and skin irritation.
Most sanitary pad manufacturers produce pads with a plastic net top sheet known as a dry net cover, this aids in the pad's rapid blood absorption and maintains the surfaces, dryness and cleanliness. However, if worn for an excessive amount of time, the pad may irritate the skin. In addition, the surface is warm and damp. Users can therefore develop redness and rashes. In order to avoid rashes and skin irritation, you can also switch to organic sanitary pads or cotton sanitary pads. But that doesn't mean that you can carry that pad for excessively long hours.
Risk of infections
Prolonged use of the same pad can cause the bacteria that are released with the blood to grow and multiply. It's possible for fungus to grow on the pad as a result of the damp and warm environment. Yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and other illnesses can all be brought on by these bacteria and fungi.
Serious concerns and issues
If infections are not treated, they can cause fatal conditions like infertility, cervical cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even death in some serious cases.