Pad-tastic! A Guide to Finding Your Perfect Fit: Choosing the Right Sanitary Pad Size for You
Updated: Apr 19
As women, we all know that choosing the right sanitary pad size is crucial to our comfort and protection during periods. We are all aware of 'Oh-No!!-My-Period-Is-Overflow!' feeling in the middle of class, meeting or commute. However, with so many different sizes and options available, it can be challenging to know which one to choose. The size of the period pad depends on the kind of period flow - Heavy flow, Medium flow, Light flow, rash prone etc. So is there a standard definition for heavy bleeding vs light period flow and everything in between? Let's find out…
Light and heavy periods are defined based on the amount of blood loss a woman experiences during her menstrual cycle. Generally, a "normal" period lasts between 3 to 7 days and the woman loses an average of 30 to 80 milliliters (or 1 to 3 ounces) of blood during this time. In ordinary terms, think of one tablespoon as 5 ml, so we can safely say this translates to 6 - 16 tablespoons of blood during the whole period is 'normal'. Anything less than 6 tablespoons is light and more than 16 tablespoons is heavy. Heavy bleeding can happen for a variety of reasons, such as underlying medical problems, hormonal changes, stress, postpartum or the use of certain medications.
There are other factors to consider as well - length of cycle if the amount of blood loss is within normal range but the length of cycle is longer than 7 days if your periods are unusually painful, severe headaches, vomiting etc. it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor.
Now that we have the basics sorted - here is a size chart. Time to compare and explain the various sizes of sanitary pads available in India, from regular & long pads to XXXL pads.
Liners: are for non-period vaginal discharge, you can wear them throughout the month to absorb white discharge, ovulation leaks etc. They are typically 190 - 200 mm in length, quite narrow and absorb just a couple of tablespoons of fluid.
Regular Pads: Ideal for women and girls who have medium to light periods. These pads are usually 220 - 250mm long and can absorb 40 - 60ml. If your periods are more of medium flow type, you may have to change more often. Depending on your discharge patterns, these may be good for the last 2-3 days of the period when the flow is significantly less. They may be with or without wings - check the pack for details.
Long Pads: Long pads are ideal for those of you, who experience moderate to heavy flow and need extra coverage. They are usually 240- 290 mm in size and can absorb 60 - 80 ml. They almost always have wings, are longer than regular pads and provide added protection against leaks. For heavyish flow, you may need to change more often. They are not fit for travel. They may be a good fit for petite women and those who have heavy period occasionally and if need be, they are in a safe space to change often.
Extra Long, XL Sanitary Pads: XL sanitary pads are longer and wider than long pads, about 270- 320 mm making them ideal for women with a heavy flow and larger body types. They provide high absorbency of 100 ml - 120 ml, maximum coverage and protection against leaks, ensuring you stay comfortable and confident throughout the day. They are good for traveling and can be used as night pads for that extra care and confidence.
XXL sanitary pads and XXXL sanitary pads: Double XL pads and 3XL pads are larger than XL pads and provide maximum coverage and protection against leaks. They are 330 mm - 350 mm in length, extra wide, with dual wings and can absorb 130 ml - 150 ml of bleeding. They are designed for women with a very heavy flow or larger body types. XXXL sanitary pads are the largest size available in India and are designed for women with very heavy periods or larger body types. They can last up to 12 hours, providing peace of mind and comfort throughout the day.
Sanitary Pads Size Chart
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Periods can be a real pain in the butt, but finding the perfect size of the sanitary pad can make all the difference in your comfort and protection. From long pads to XXL and even XXXL pads, there are plenty of options out there to fit every fabulous woman. Don't be afraid to get a little experimental and try different sizes until you find the one that makes you feel like a million bucks. With this guide in your back pocket, you'll be well on your way to period bliss and feeling like the radiant queen you are!