Girl Talk with Kristina

Pads

Pads are mad of absorbent material with a sticky side that sticks to your underwear. Pads come in different sizes, absorbencies, and colors. Some pads have wings and some have no wings. Wings just help the pad stay in place and can sometimes catch leaks as they run down the sides. A few popular brands in the US are Kotex, Always, U by Kotex, and Carefree. My personal favorite pad is the always infinity. Pads are great for girls who just got their period and are probably the product of choice for most younger teens/tweens. Their are some pads that are mad specifically for smaller bodies (smaller undies) like U by Kotex makes a line called their "tween" pads and liners that are 18% smaller than their normal pads and have a lot more color as well as Always makes pads known as "slenders" which come in pink packaging. Pads can be worn for up to about 6 hours max (besides overnight pads) depending on your flow and the pads absorbency. So if you have school then you're probably going to want to bring at least 2 pads (not including the new one you should be wearing). If you, after about 2 hours, go to the bathroom you should change your pad. Then another time after another 2 hoursish and then again right before school ends or wait until you get home. Most of the time you can avoid leaks, but you can usually feel when your pad is full so these times can vary (you may be able to wear the pad for only 1 hour or for 3 hours). Usually you will feel really damp and then you'll know when it's time to change and you will eventually find out your body's rythym and will know exactly how long you can wear a pad for. You can wear pads for sports (excluding water sports) but it might be a good idea to wear a longer pad because when you move around a lot it can cause leaks. But if you're comfortable with the idea of tampons they're a great alternative that are moe dependable than pads (see tampons 101).
Overnight pads are a bit different. You should probably wait until you're about to go to bed to put on a new pad (overnight). Overnight pads usually are just longer to help revent leaks and absorb more since you'll be wearing them for up to 12 hours. There are several choices when it comes to overnight pads and most pad brands carry an overnight choice that's right for you.  

Pantyliners

Pantyliners or pantiliners are similar to pads in the fact that they sit in your underwear with a sticky backing and are made of absorbent material. However, pantyliners are much smaller than pads and aren't always used during your period. At the beggining and end of your period your flow will usually be light and you can use pantyliners if you so choose to but pads are always an option.
Before you get your first period and in between periods you can get something call spotting. Spotting occurs when you have a hormonal imbalance (like most girls who have had their period for less than 3 years) or if you're pregnant. Spotting is nothing to worry about unless you're sexually active. So if spotting ever occurs just throw on a pantyliner (not literally) and be done with it.
Pantyliners are also used by some to protect their underwear from discharge. Discharge is that whitish yellowish clearish liquid/crusty stuff/goops that you see on your panties. You can use pantyliners everyday (or however often you have discharge) or you can just let it get on your underwear and it comes right out in the wash. If your discharge is ever brown or green or has a very foul odor then you might have an infection and you should seek medical attention.
Another great thing about pantyliners: you can use them as a backup with tampons! Because, lets face it, peoples tampons leak and sometimes it's not because their full, sometimes the blood just goes down the side. However, if you're wearing a pantyliner then the blood will just land on that and you won't have any stains! You can also use a pad as a backup if you feel like your period is really heavy.