Go With The Flow

Sanitary Napkin Size: Why Choosing the Right Sanitary Napkin Size is Important


The invention of sanitary pads created a major shift from the usage of cloth for mensuration thereby making mensuration manageable for women all across the world. A sanitary napkin, also known as regular sanitary pad, menstrual pad, or sanitary towel, is used during menstruation. It is also used while recovering from gynecologic surgery or any other situation when there is a flood of blood from the vagina. The sanitary pads are used to soak up blood discharged from the vagina.

One of the issues that women face during their periods is leakage and staining. This can happen out in public or within their home. It can become a messy and embarrassing situation if not handled properly. Hence, it is necessary to choose the right size of sanitary napkin.

Factors Determining the Best Sanitary Pads for a Woman

Every woman is unique, and so is her period. The choice of pad depends on various factors like body type, blood flow during periods, and comfort. The priority level of each entirely depends on the women, and hence the choice of the sanitary pad is completely subjective.

According to multiple reports, 60% of women wear the wrong size pad, which leads to a generalized notion that pads are not sufficient and not the best choice during periods.

The problem of leakage and staining can be entirely avoided by wearing the right size pad. The best period pads should cover you from front to back and be able to withstand heavy flow and clotting.

Most women are unaware that pads come in different sizes, lengths, and coverage to match their specific protection needs. The choice of sanitary pads differs during your periods as your flow is not the same throughout your periods. There are different types and sizes of sanitary pads available in the market that cater to your different needs. Some of the sizes available in the market along with their usage are mentioned below.

Different sizes of Sanitary Pads available in the market

Sanitary pad sizes differ from brand to brand. Different sizes of sanitary pads cater to different levels of flow, different wearing requirements and different functionalities. RIO sanitary pads come in three sizes. Heavy flow pads which soak more than 60ml of blood, are extra-long and have double wings. And RIO Regular flow pads which come in XL and XXL and are for young women or those who do not experience very heavy flow for more than three days.

Here is a quick introduction to the various types of pads:

  • Panty Liners
  • Pantyliners are similar to sanitary pads but are usually thinner and lighter and do not soak much of menstrual or period blood. Pantyliners are ideal for everyday use for soaking up vaginal discharge or light menstrual blood (spotting). Pantyliners are available in both synthetic and cotton and the choice completely depends on the person’s comfort.

  • Regular pads
  • This is one of the most common pads available in the market and also one of the most widely used ones. The size of a regular pad is below 21 cm and is slightly longer and thicker than a panty liner with a strong adhesive layer to keep the pad in place. It is usually used for low flow days and may require frequent changes during heavy days. Different kinds of regular pads are available in the market from synthetic to cotton to reusable pads.

  • Large pads
  • Large pads are usually used for medium flow days. The length of the pad ranges from 21 – 24 cm. These pads may have wings to keep the pads in place. Some of the brands offer gel absorbent cores which might help with longer protection.

  • Extra-large pads
  • Extra-large pads are much longer and thicker than regular pads. The length of these pads ranges from 24 – 29 cm. Many brands have additional adhesive wings for support and some brands also offer gel technology that protects from leakage. These are the best pads for heavy flow days or night-time heavy bleeding.

  • XXL pads
  • These pads are thicker compared to the regular pads and have more coverage as well. One of the major reasons is that one won’t have to keep changing their pad, especially during the nights. These are wide and long, covering most of the area at the front and back. Most of the XXL pads come with adhesive wings to keep the pad in place.

    The length of an XXL pad is above 29 cm. These pads are ideal for heavy flow days. They may have special features like longer and wider back coverage, bigger wings, gel protection.  

    RIO heavy flow pads are specifically designed to absorb high amounts of bleeding and clotting and are the best sanitary pads for heavy flow. RIO heavy flow pads come with an extra glue strip to provide that extra grip and come with both side guards and double wings to keep the pad in place and prevent leakage and staining during the day or night. RIO pads also provide odour lock, fast blood distribution and are antibacterial. The top cover is made of cotton to prevent rashes and itches during periods. An RIO pad measures around 35 cm in length which gives you complete coverage at the back and front.

    A woman needs to understand her needs and her period flow before she chooses from this plethora of sanitary napkin sizes. With the correct pad, a woman can deal with her periods with more convenience. Periods are not necessarily supposed to make one’s life tough. If handled properly with the best sanitary pads, women will be able to breeze through their menstruation cycle!


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