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How often should you change your pad?

Good menstrual hygiene

How often you change your pad will vary cycle to cycle and from day to day of your period. It will also depend on your flow and the type of pad you’re using.

Always Infinity
Always Infinity pads in Overnight, Heavy, and Regular absorbencies

Change your pad as often as you need to feel comfortable and clean.

You can technically wear a pad for as long as you want as long as it doesn’t over flow but it will not be very hygienic or comfortable. The main reasons to change your pad are:

  • The pad is full or saturated
  • To feel comfortable
  • To be hygienic or clean

Remember it is best to select the right absorbency for your flow so you can wear the pad comfortably for several hours. Check your pad at regular intervals (every 2-4 hours) to see if there are any leaks or if your pad has filled up.

As you become more familiar and comfortable with your period and body, you will develop a better sense of how often you need to change your pad.

Let’s explore flows and the different pad absorbencies so you can get a better idea of how often you need to change your pad.

Flows & Absorbencies
Overnight pad

An overnight pad is long so it can absorb all night. It should last an entire night’s sleep even on a heavy flow. You will need to change your pad in the morning. If needed, you can also wear an overnight pad in the day time.

Heavy flow

Your flow is usually heavier at the start of a period. Overnight and heavy absorbency pads are both longer and offer more protection than regular flow pads. You may find that you need to change it at the 3-6 hour mark or even earlier depending on how heavy for flow is.

If you wear a regular flow pad, you may find that you need to change it even more frequently.

Regular flow

With a regular flow, you can wear a heavy or regular absorbency pad. A heavy pad will offer more protection. You may want to change your pad every 3-6 hours of even earlier depending on how heavy your flow is.

Light flow or Spotting

Wearing a regular or light flow pad should last anywhere from 4-6 hours.

If your period is very light and there is only a small spot on your pad even after 4 hours, you can continue wearing the pad if you are comfortable doing so. Just keep in mind it is a good idea to change your pad regularly.

If you’re having trouble or have any questions, leave a comment below!

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About Dedy Wong

Dedy is the founder of The Period Blog and creator of The Little Red Kit. Her period is around 30 days long and likes to use pads and tampons -although she has tried just about everything including menstrual cups and period subscription boxes!


  1. i am a girl of 11 years i even dont know what shall i do my mother is out for the sake i wore a pad but i dont know how to wear it?

  2. Hi Dedy! Rayna here! I am 12 and haven’t started my period yet, I have been having vaginal discharge and a couple spots of blood here and there. I want to be prepared when I am in my period, so, is there any way to know when my period is coming? Do I have to keep track of something, or will it just come with no warning?? Please help me! ☺ ❤💢🚺

  3. Hi last month on the 2nd day of my period I wore pad for 9 hours cz I didn’t had time to change and flow was very heavy. As soon as I checked my pad it was full and smelling awful. Usually I’ve lighter periods and wear pad for at most 6-7 hours. I wanna know is this fine to change pad after 6 hours or I should change after 3-4 hours?


  4. Hi,
    I keep pad before my periods in advance when i go to college in fear.Can i keep same pad for the whole time when i’m in college

  5. Hello, I am having some discharge, I think I might be getting my period for my FIRST time!! So what do i wear? I don’t know if I should use a pad or liner? However I don’t know what a liner is! HELP :'(

  6. Hi so i’ve recently got my period and we are on vacation and are probably going to swim a lot and I’ve tried using a tampon before and in the shower it works just fine at first but one time when we went out for a couple o hours it was completely leaked even though I had a pad as well and I’m not sure about how to be in the water and swim any suggestions please??

  7. Hi im a girl and Im always worrying that people can see my pad threw my pants. Also im very insecure and I have no friends to help and in my school i dont know what happened but now you have to sign in to go to the bathroom and there is a person there. Also when should I go to change mh pad? I hate asking to go to the bathroom and once i did a experiment on wearing a pad from 7am to 2pm and it went ok (on my 2nd day of flow) And I wish I could use tampons and diva cups but my mom doesnt use those. Btw im 13 almost 14 in a month.

    • Hi Darcy,

      Change your pad whenever you need to – whenever you feel that it is getting full or when you just need to freshen up a bit. You don’t have to wait until it is full to change it – in fact, I woudln’t wait until it is full. I usually change mine ever 4-5 hours.

      To make sure your pad doesn’t show – you can try wearing more snug fit panties so the pads are closer to your body (it helps prevent leaks too!), wear baggy pants, or a longer shirt that will cover your bum.

      Don’t worry about anyone bothering you about your period in the bathroom – older girls will understand. Every girl I have encountered in a bathroom (even complete strangers!) are always willing to help out when I needed a pad or tampon. It’s Girl Code :)

      Your friend,
      The Period Blog

    • I just started my period today. I am12. Can I still swim. If I can with what? Also in gym I am worried the other girls can see my pad is there anything I can do to help that?

  8. I thank you for the is blog i have really learnt a lot. I wanted to ask what are the things that one should avoid during their periods and also do you have any solutions for stomach cramps during one’s periods apart from medicine

  9. Hey so I am in school ! And I’m in a class in which is full of amateur boys no girls in the class just me and I do get my period. Sometimes I need to change during class time ! But I do have a heavy flow and I use over night pads ( btw I don’t wanna wear tampons ) I can’t seem to sneak them into my pocket and I can’t take my bag if I’m going to the toilet in the middle of the class ! And I’m seated in the middle of two boys and I can’t even try to sneak a pad what should I do ?

  10. I just might have started my period I haven’t bled or spotted. I have been having bad cramps and discharge my mom is making me wear pads should I be worried I haven’t bled or spotted?

    • Madelyn there is no need to be worried that nothing has happend yet. The cramps and discharge is normal right before you do start your period for the first time, your mum is just being cautious and making sure that your prepared for when it does come.

    • It’s normal to have cramps before you get your period. I started having cramps over a year before i got my period.

  11. Hi! I’m Ashley and my family and I might be going on trip and we are going to be swimming a lot. It’s about 1.5 months away and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have my period… Is there anyway I can stop it or wear pads while I swim? I’m about to be 13 (4 days) and I wore a tampon about a year ago and I absolutely hated it and it hurt putting it in and taking it out so that’s not really a option for me. My flow is like regular/heavy. We are going to be driving and it’s about 15-16 hour drive with barely any stops, will it be okay wearing a pad or pantiliner? I prefer pantiliners but I have to switch them every 1-1.5 hours. Thank you!! -ashley

    • Ashley, you can actually go swimming whilst on your period. in the water our period will not come as heavily so you can get away with wearing a tampon whilst swimming and if your more cautious and wear board shorts over your swimmers you may also be able to get away with wearing a pad.

      Since your going on a long drive and not going to be stopping often i would highly suggest wearing pads and not pantyliner as they do a better job and you can wear them for a bit longer than the liners, however i would recommend changing your pad at least once minimum during the car ride.

  12. I feel like a little insecure about not wearing a pad even when I don’t have my period so I end up wearing one all the time. Also because of school and my job it can be 5-6 hours wearing a pad when I’m not on my period and maybe 4-5 hours when I am on my period. Should there be anything to worry about with leaving them on as long?


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