How to Use a Pad: A Guide for First Time & Regular Users

How to Use a Pad: A Guide for First Time & Regular Users

If you’re getting started with using a pad, here’s everything you need to know.

Wait – what is a pad and who invented them?

Photo from Good Black News.

A pad is a rectangular absorbent period product that catches menstrual flow by being attached to a person's underwear.

Mary Beatrice Kenner, who (fun fact) has the most patents of any African American woman to date, first patented the sanitary belt back in 1957.

How do I use a pad?

Place the pad (long-length-ways) on the inside of your underwear.

If the pad has 1 set of wings (like August’s Day Pads), wrap each wing around the right and left side of your underwear to stick to the underside.

If the pad has 2 sets of wings (like August’s Night Pads & Long Night Pads), 1 set of wings will go around the narrow part of the underwear between the thighs. The other set of wings, further back towards your bum, should rest on the inside part of your underwear to absorb any liquid that falls down to the back of your underwear (likely due to lying down).

How many pads per day is normal for a period?

This really depends on the person and the product.

People with a heavier flow may bleed through more often than someone with a lighter flow. But, with a larger absorbency, they could last with that on for many hours and only switch pads 2-3 times in the day.

For context, August offers 4 pad sizes:

  1. Liners hold up to 10mL of liquid
  2. Day Pads hold up to 60mL of liquid
  3. Night Pads hold up to 80mL of liquid
  4. Long Night Pads hold up to 100mL of liquid.

On average, if you change your pad every 4-6 hours and wear one overnight, you’d likely use 3-4 pads in one day.

Which pads are best for a first period?

Out of August’s four pad offerings, we’d recommend starting with a box of August Liners and a box of August Day Pads.

Order here!

Trying these will help to determine if you need a higher absorbency or not. If you end up needing a heavier pad, you can still hold onto your liners because they’re useful for your last day of flow and to collect discharge during your ovulation phase (14 days after the start of your cycle).

How do I choose what size of pads to use?

  • Liners are for day-to-day use when there is menstrual flow or just discharge

  • Day Pads are designed for daily coverage of menstrual flow

  • Night Pads are designed for the overnight flow when you’re horizontal and moving around while sleeping

  • Long Night Pads are for the heavy flow-ers & night time use.

How often should I change my pad?

This totally depends on your flow!

Typically, it's every 4-6 hours, but if you feel the pad filling up before then, change it to avoid a leak. If you’ve had it in for 6 hours but you’re still feeling comfortable and dry you can totally keep wearing it!

If you find yourself changing your pad every 1-2 hours, check in with your doctor about heavy menstrual bleeding.

What are August pads made of?

August pads are made of 100% organic cotton that is ethically sourced.

Also, our pads are toxin-free, free of harmful chemicals, fragrance-free, pesticide-free, hypoallergenic, and FDA-approved.

Read more about our product materials, manufacturing, and distribution on our Traceability Page.

What makes August Period Care special?

The ethically sourced, organic cotton used in our pads are sourced from suppliers in Turkey from farms in Turkey, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Once collected, they are manufactured in China, then shipped off to our shipping warehouse in Pennsylvania.

How are August pads SO absorbent?

The secret to our pads’ absorbency is the Japanese Super Absorbent Polymer (SAPs), which holds up to 100 times its weight in fluid.

While our pads appear to be thinner than the standard pad, they’re just compact and the SAPs have an unmatched ability to absorb and lock in liquids as a gel.

Are August pads actually leak proof?

August pads are SUPER absorbent and made with a Japanese Sumitomo SAP designed to lock-in fluids... which means once period blood goes in, its pretty tough to get it to come back out.

Test them out yourself: SHOP NOW

How are August pads more quiet than regular pads?

August pads wrappers are made with BPI-certified compostable wrappers which make them have a less crunchy texture & sound.

While they aren't silent, our community has told us that they’re a lot more discreet and quiet than your average pad.

That being said – who really cares if they’re a little crinkly?! No need to be shy about using a pad. Half the population gets a period at some point in their lives, and pads are one of the most common products to use! Be proud to be a pad-user. <3

How should I store my August products?

Since August pad and liner wrappers are BPI-certified compostable it’s best to store August products in a dry, cool environment away from any moisture and in the original box when possible.

Do August products expire?

You can find the expiration date of August tampons on the individual box. The shelf life of our pads is 4 years from purchase.

How do I dispose of my pads?

PSA: DO NOT FLUSH YOUR PAD DOWN THE TOILET – no matter if it’s unused, used, just a liner, or long night pads.

August pads can be disposed of in regular landfill.

August’s pad wrappers are BPI-certified compostable, meaning, if you take the little sticky tab and inner paper liner off, you can compost them.

And the age-old question…can you get TSS from using pads?

TSS is more often caused by wearing a tampon for too long, not with a pad.

Unlike a tampon – which must be changed every 4-8 hours, you can wear a pad all day long, and even overnight. That being said, you should still be changing your used pads regularly to avoid any bacteria or smells to develop.

In particular, if you have a heavy flow, you will need to change it more often to avoid leaks.


If you’re looking for some of the best organic, sustainable period care – try August.

Have more questions about pads?

Don’t be afraid to #AskAugust via DMs, comments, or email us at

Here for you & your menstrual cycle education!

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