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"Sanitary napkin" is a euphemism for any of the disposable external items used to absorb menstrual discharges, usually a maxi-pad or panty liner. The place I see this phrase most often is on the boxes in stalls of women's public restrooms. Tampons can usually be flushed, while maxi-pads and panty liners can't be, so the box is there for the disposal of non-flushable items.

All napkins are created for sanitary purposes, so this is a ridiculous phrase. What it teaches us, however, is the truth: menstruation is naughty and messy and dirty, and so are vaginas. If you can think of a better way of making babies I'd like to see it.

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