i don’t know how long to wear a pad or pantyliner

moms can't always be right about these things!

dear heather,
Just wondering…how long can you keep a pantyliner on before you should take it off or replace it? Because I’ve had mine on for only 6 hours and it’s starting to smell, but my mom says I should keep it on the whole day…help!

The truth is, there really is no definitive time frame that you’re “supposed” to leave a pantyliner on. It’s different for everyone and can be dependent on many factors, like what kind of pantyliner you’re wearing and how heavy your discharge in between periods is.

But, as a rule of thumb, I would suggest replacing your pantyliner as you see fit. 6 hours is a pretty long time, and if it’s smelling, as you’ve said, it’d be a good idea to replace it with a clean one. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with keeping on a smelly pantyliner, but for hygienic reasons, you’ll definitely feel a lot cleaner if you replace your pantyliner or pad once it starts feeling and smelling gross.

|Scared that you smell down there? You’re not the only one!|

There is a rule for tampons, though. If you’re on your period and are wearing a tampon for longer than 8 hours, you run the risk of contracting toxic shock syndrome, which is a rare but deadly blood disease. Make sure you replace your tampon every few hours (and definitely don’t sleep in one!) to prevent this disease, not to mention that really dirty feeling.

And as for your mom saying you should leave a pantyliner in for at least a day? You should probably show her this and let her know that there’s no such thing as that rule :).

take care,

What’s bothering you? Heather can help! Send her your question to heather@gurl.com.

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