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Heavy menstrual bleeding is a royal pain. Not only do you have to deal with painful cramps that make you want to curl up in a ball, but you also have to change your pad (or tampon or other period product) every hour on the hour. Don't even get us started on the laundry situation. And while pads are essential for heavy bleeders, not all are created equal.
If you're tired of poorly fitting pads, we have the solution: the seven best pads for heavy flow for every budget and preference. We spoke to board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Kelly Culwell, M.D., about why pads for heavy flow are important and what features to consider when searching for the perfect one.
Although menstrual flow can vary from person to person, most people who menstruate experience heavier bleeding in the first half of the bleeding period, according to Dr. Culwell. "If the period is irregular or absent, there may be heavier bleeding in the next period," she tells Today's Parent.
Medical conditions such as fibroids or polyps, thyroid conditions, bleeding disorders, or medications such as anti-coagulant medications can also lead to heavy menstrual bleeding. If you have any concerns, Dr. Culwell suggests chatting about them with your doctor.
To find the best pads for heavy flow, Dr. Cullwell advises focusing on the length, width and coverage. "Choose pads with heavy absorbency and opt for longer and wider pads for nighttime use," she says. "Consider using period-absorbing underwear for extra coverage at night. Avoid scented or fragranced pads, as these can cause allergic reactions or irritation."
One of the best pads for heavy flow available, these pads are made of organic bamboo materials that are silky and soft. They have a perfect length from front to back and strong wings that stick to underwear well, preventing them from becoming loose or undone. These are also unscented, cruelty-free and biodegradable, decomposing faster than traditional plastic pads.
These heavy flow pads are game-changers with one reviewer saying they are fibroid-proof.
"I was hospitalized for bleeding so heavily I needed a blood transfusion," writes verified Amazon shopper. "I was so worried I was going to leave marks all around the hospital, but I didn't and these saved all my clothes."
August's winged night pads are thin, but they are highly absorbent, long-lasting, and breathable. Eight layers of protection and 100% organic cotton materials make these an easy choice. Longer than your average pad, the advanced technology is impressive and keeps you cool and dry.
These pads have received rave reviews from reviewers for their softness, fit, and coverage, which they say is enough for sleeping. "The pads are long enough to offer full coverage while sleeping," writes verified Amazon Shopper Angry Face. "There are two sets of wings - one near the front, one near the back, to prevent shifting while you sleep."
For those on a budget, Amazon Essentials offers the best pads for heavy flow, priced at less than $5 for a pack of 32. They are longer than most pads, measuring 32 inches, and have a highly absorbent core that provides up to ten hours of protection. Made with cotton materials and breathable outer layers, these pads keep skin dry and comfortable.
The wings on these pads are also a highlight, as they are flexible and help the pad stay in place. The affordable price point also makes it easy to find the right pad for regular, heavy or light flow depending on your personal preference and needs.
Amazon customers appreciate the width and length of these pads, which prevent leakage. Additionally, some reviewers have noted that they are great for post-partum bleeding, in addition to menstrual bleeding. "I used these for post-partum bleeding and they were amazing," writes verified Amazon shopper, Sophia.
"Long in length and didn’t irritate my skin like other pad brands do, ideal for overnights."
For those who need extra protection during their menstrual cycle, these pads with wings are a great option. They are designed to be super long with supportive wings and extra cushioning for maximum absorbency. They also use advanced cotton core technology to keep you dry without exposing sensitive areas to harmful chemicals.
Additionally, they are unscented and gentle on sensitive skin, so you won't experience any irritation or discomfort. While some reviewers expressed issues with the wings (one said they were too far forward and back), they are a great pad to have when you're in need of extra security.
These pads (available in a pack of 40) are the top choice for those who need strong and supportive pads for heavy flow overnight. The longer back offers greater coverage and the double wings only bolster the protection. Made from organic materials, these are chlorine-free and have no fragrance. This makes them hypoallergenic, soft and breathable, which helps to reduce irritation and unpleasant odors.
While many reviewers love the materials and absorbency of these overnight pads, others appreciate the paraben and fragrance-free materials.
According to an Amazon-verified reviewer, "These pads have been amazing for me and I will never go back! Not to mention, I know my reproductive health is better since I stopped using pads with parabens and fragrances."
Some reviewers note that these pads tend to bunch, so it is important to apply the adhesive part carefully to your underwear.
With odor control, high absorbency, and sturdy wings, it's no wonder that these Always pads are best-sellers on Amazon. Enjoy comfortable wearing and support through day or overnight wear. Each pack contains 54 pads made with a flexible foam material. We love how highly absorbent these are. They're also thin and flexible enough to withstand all types of movement.
Additionally, these pads are designed to be skin-friendly and are dermatologically tested by the Skin Health Alliance, so you can be confident in your purchase.
Based on customer reviews, these pads feature a sticky adhesive and absorbent core but don't feel like a diaper, as verified Amazon shopper, Florence writes: "You really don't feel these pads, so it is pleasantly surprising how powerful their absorption rate can be."
Period underwear is a great option for heavy-flow days. Cora offers a bikini-style option made with comfortable cotton materials. This top-rated period underwear is very absorbent and features a soft moisture-wicking core to keep moisture to keep moisture at bay. It also has an ultra-soft waistband to keep the style secure and offers full coverage.
This pair of period underwear is available in sizes up to XXL. Wear them alone or with other period products for added protection. Beyond menstruation, they also are suitable for postpartum bleeding.
At $24.99 per pair, this pair is one of the most expensive items on our list, but reviewers claim they are the perfect backup to heavy pads and regular pads. And they can withstand all types of movement.
"Wore these to work and didn’t have to worry at all about leaks; also tested them during a workout and they did a great job with coverage and protection," writes one verified Amazon shopper.
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