Discussing issues "down there" can be difficult for some, despite the topic becoming less taboo. But no matter how you feel about the topic, there's no doubt that you want to keep the area as healthy as possible. What you wear there has very strong effects on how healthy you stay because the wrong products could create excessive irritation or promote infections.
Regular vs. Organic Pads
For most people, using regular sanitary pads and tampons isn't a problem. It's better to use unscented products as some fragrances can cause irritation, but for the most part, those regular products are fine.
However, if you have particularly sensitive skin, or you're having problems like rashes or infections, you may want to switch to an organic cotton product. The plastics and dyes in some regular products may increase irritation, while plain cotton is a lot more gentle.
Go into the underwear section at a store to buy new pairs, and you'll find a lot made from microfiber, a smooth material that looks rather synthetic. Microfiber is technically synthetic, but it's manufactured in a way that can make it breathable. It does have the advantage over cotton in that microfiber can wick away moisture, so if you tend to sweat a lot there, microfiber could be a better choice. Of course, discuss this with your gynecologist first if you're prone to yeast infections.
Boyshort-style underwear, which looks like hotpants, to put it lightly, can be cute, but the legs can roll up rather uncomfortably if you get a too-tight size. You end up with rolls of material basically choking your upper legs. Be very sure you're wearing the right size, and if you can't seem to stop the legs from rolling up and wedging themselves in uncomfortable places, you may want to avoid this style of underwear.
No matter what you have there, frequent changes are paramount for keeping the area healthy. Change underwear once it gets sweaty, and don't neglect to change a pad just because you don't think it's full -- change them on a regular basis no matter what. And don't think a little irritation is OK, either. Whatever you have there should be comfortable. If you are having issues finding materials for pads or underwear that don't irritate you, talk to your gynecologist to see what (such as a fragrance compound) might be aggravating your skin so much.