Is Your Throat Sore Just Before Your Period?

Here’s an interesting observation by more than a handful of my female patients: Their throats are sore for a few days just before their monthly periods. It doesn’t go on to a cold or other more severe symptoms. Just a transient sore throat. Then it goes away.

If you’ve been following my blogs, articles, and especially if you read my book, Sleep, Interrupted, there’s a simple explanation. During your monthly cycles, progesterone levels increase with ovulation, but drops when there’s no egg fertilization. One relatively unknown property of progesterone is that it’s an upper airway muscle dilator. It literally tenses your tongue muscles. When in deep sleep, your muscles (as well as your tongue and other throat muscles) tend to relax to various degrees depending on your sleep stage. If you have less progesterone on board, then it’s more likely to fall back, obstructing your breathing, leading to a temporary vacuum effect in the throat, suctioning up small amounts of normal stomach juices. All this causes a temporary deep sleep deficiency. If you eat a late meal, more of these juices will come up. But once progesterone levels begin to increase again, the tongue tenses, and sleep quality improves as well.

Sometimes, the inflammation in the throat increases to the point of significant deep sleep deprivation, leading to some of the more severe symptoms as pre-menstrual headaches, fatigue, irritability, and weight gain.

For you women out there, do you experience sore throats just before your periods? Please enter your responses in the comments box below.

One of the most common questions asked in the comments below is, "What can I do to help with this problem?" I answer this in my new podcast.



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463 thoughts on “Is Your Throat Sore Just Before Your Period?

  1. My sore throats and flu feeling which knocks me out bedridden Hakeem from start of period and lasts around 5 days. It started in my forties

  2. Yes. Am one of them. I get soar throat and feverish feeling for almost 5 to 6 days… It starts 2 days before my periods and ends on my 3rd day of periods. Is there any solution for this problem?

  3. I’ve observed this as a thing i have for a few months now. I seemed to have been buying strepsils lozenges every month, and the symptoms never amounted to anything so I thought there may be a link between airways or glands during this hormonal shift.

  4. For the last 3 months, I’ve experienced what seems like the onset of the flu 1-3 days before I start my period. It’s bad enough that twice I’ve taken sick leave from work. This month, I expected it and have pushed through – knowing that I’m not really sick. How can I stop this??

  5. I’m 53 and still get regular periods. My sore throat issue has only began at the beginning of this year (2017).

  6. Yes I do , it’s like i get bumps along the side of my face, cheeks , & my lips get very chapped for a week straight then a couple of days later if not the next week my cycle comes on .

  7. For a few years now i have experienced sore throats right before my period. I habe talked to my doctor, Primary and gyno., and neither one had any idea why?
    Finally my primary said it was from acid reflux, i don’t know how much i believe that.
    So this article males sense to me, i lnew it had to be caused by hormones just because of the timing

  8. YES! I am so glad I found this link. After it happened a few times (sore throat and flu like symptoms with body ache coinciding with my periods) I just had to google to see if there was a connection.

  9. My throat becomes dry before my period so I keep drinking water until I feel comfortable. I feel like the back of my tongue has gone lower. I’ve also noticed that as soon as there’s much saliva in my mouth, I swallow it just to feel relieved.

  10. Yes.I am having sore throat,severe back pain and fatigue before periods and during 3days.. is there any solution? should I consult a doctor?

  11. Yes, sore throat and almost like a flu a few days before my period starts. It tricks me all the time and I think I’m getting sick, alas it always “clears up”. So annoying.