A sanitary napkin. The sanitary napkin comprises a central absorbent pad and flaps extending from each longitudinal edge of the central absorbent pad. The body of each flap contains a flexible axis about which the flap can fold on itself. The sanitary napkin preferentially bends at the line of juncture between each flap and the longitudinal edge of the central absorbent pad. When the sanitary napkin is in a panty for use, each flap bends upwardly at the lines of juncture between the flaps and the longitudinal edges of the central absorbent pad to form the base of a wall. This wall extends to the flexible axis in the body of the flap which is folded around the edge of the crotch portion of the panty. The sanitary napkin of the present invention provides effective protection to the user during the menstrual period by preventing body and clothing soiling while being comfortable to wear.