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.



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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

  1. Hi guys!

    I’ve just read all your comments and have been experiencing what feels like a “lump” in my throat for a couple of months now…it only seems to be the day or two before my period and goes away after a few days at most. never turns into a cold. I’m only 22 and don’t want this to become a monthly thing, anyone know of any natural ways to help this horrible feeling?

  2. Every month I experience fatigue, headaches, sore throat with runny nose but not a proper cold. Also get extreme sugar cravings and my normally healthy diet goes out the window.

  3. I sing in a choir, play a musical instrument, and play a sport, and for the past two years I thought I just lost my voice once a month, every month. I only noticed this year, that this occurred right before my period, while I’m PMSing. My symptoms include a sore throat, losing my voice, and congestion, but that’s it. My doctor has also told me that I have Vocal Cord Dysfunction, so that could be a cause as well.

  4. Hi everyone,
    I also wishing the past five or so years have been battling with an extremely sore throat right before my periods. This happens EVERY month. I’ve talked to and seen 5 different doctors all who don’t believe me when I think it’s hormone related. I have tried “skipping” my period with a doctors supervision by inserting another Nuva Ring before my period that worked for the first two times but on the 3rd and 4th ring I experience both spotting and a bad sore throat. Does anyone have a remedy that has fixed this or know of a specialist doctor?

  5. I have been experiencing for about a week before my pms headache sore throath nose pain with like allergic sneezing and runny nose body aches and hot and cold flushing tighten of chest and also heart palpitations not evreytime… This has only started over last 6 months I’m 33years old ….

  6. This is very interesting. It happens frequently enough that I know it is a sign my period is starting soon. I always wondered what the deal was because it only lasts a day or so and always corresponds with my period. I just get a raw patch in the same spot.

  7. Hi, I take two evening primrose oil capsules every morning and night and it has helped so much. I once stopped taking them and the sore throat came back. Give it a go, it’s an affordable option.

  8. Right before my period I get a little bump inside my mouth on my lip sore throat sinus it’s so bad can you please explain that to me please

  9. Two days prior to my period I get a sore throats and what feels similar to a head cold. I’m extremely fatigued and irritable. I’ve also gain about 40 pounds since I began experiencing this. I’ve spoken with my doctor repeatedly and they act like I’m making it up. Would love some help. It’s difficult dealing with this ever month.

  10. This describes my symptoms perfectly. I knew somehow hormones wete related but couldnot put all the pieces together. I knew somehow stomach acid was involved. I even look into headaches associated with acid refulx. Now, how to alleviate this problem??

  11. Amazingly, I have recently discovered that DayQuil and NyQuil have been amazingly helpful in relieving my PMS and period aches and pains. I have become unable to take Advil or Motrin and Tylenol only helps a tiny bit but the “Quils” are having positive effects on my pain and my allergies. “Killing two birds with one stone” some might say.

  12. I’m 45 and getting a sore throat, cold feeling plus a PMS headache for 3 days happens before I start my period. Of course fatigue….It’s been a tough few years of dealing with these symptoms every month…Wish there was a cure!

  13. I get a sore throat, flu-like body aches, sores on the corners of the mouth , my skin starts looking patchy and grows very dry AND my right thyroid has been sticking out since almost 3 years!! According to all the rigorous googling I have been doing, the thyroid gland is causing all this ruckus. I am able to control this if I exercise very regularly and eat mindfully. But if I take it easy even for a week, I am sure to reap the troubles the next month! God what a life!! I am right now going through a sore throat-body ache phase. I am trying to treat it with a lot of exercise, ginger, turmeric, honey, lemon. Hope this does the trick.

  14. I also suffer with very bad sore throat and runny nose every month. Two days before my period, so it’s a warning it’s on it’s way! My symptoms last between 2-4 days depending on how heavy my period is. Then magically they go away on their own. It’s very frustrating, but reassuring to see these posts as I don’t know anyone else that experiences this. Would love to know how to stop the symptoms as they can be really bad some months.

  15. I definitely get this every time and always feel like I’m coming down with something, and then it magically goes away

  16. I have been battling Strep Throat since December. I have been on penicillin or augmentum each time. This is the fourth time I’ve had it this year and it seems to comes back when I have my period. It’s becoming a problem. Could the bacteria be dormant in my tonsils and flare up during PMS? I’m looking for any information because I don’t want to get my tonsils removed. I am 32 and this year is the first year I have had Strep Throat in 10 years +.

  17. I am so happy to find this article! I have been getting a very bad sore throat, sometimes paired with very bad nasal congestion and sinus headache, for a few days before my period. It’s been happening every month for a little over a year. Very frustrating! I mentioned it to two different doctors and they both shrugged it off as nothing. I have no energy during these days and wish I could find something to relieve the symptoms.

  18. I’ve struggled with this since high school. None of my doctors (there’s been over 20) can tell me what’s going on. It happens up to a week before and the sore throat/sinus infection last the entire week of my period. It’s irregular and comes about every 40ish days but the sore throats happens during PMS too. My energy level deteriorates and I become borderline depressed. Issues with progesterone seem to be the most common response but it’s wreaking havoc on my quality of life.

  19. Hi there
    Im so glad i have found you guys.I am right now going through the sore throat no energy and feeling depressed.This lasts about a week with me.It absolutely ruins your life.I have just started with magnesium spray and iron supplements.I will try anything..

  20. Hi everyone,I’m going through the sore throat no energy feeling depressed now.Its the time of the month again.This has happened to me the last 4 months now.It ruins your life.So good to think its not just me i thought i was going mad.I have just started taken magnesium spray and iron supplements.I will try anything.

  21. This is very true for me but only since recently and I am 47 years old. Month after a month I got throat inflammation (sometimes really bad ones) which ends up with the onset of the period. Sometimes it is followed by cough. But the throat inflammation was really what kept me wandering. I also tend to snore loudly in the PMS and have a day or two days migraines, which I have never had before.

  22. Hi. I’m 45 years old. My question is. During my period the inside of my nose on one side swells up. Not tremendously. I was just wondering what is going on?

  23. Yesss!!! And for about four days it’s awful!!! Please tell me what to do about it. What can I take?

  24. I get a sore throat, and extreme fatigue a few days before my period. I also get a raw sore in my nose at the same time. I’m so happy to read this article because healthcare professional tend to look at my cross-eyed when I say this happens.

  25. I feel very tired to extremely to extremely tired during and prior to/after my period. If I don’t relax more and sleep more than normally but force myself to act as normally, I always end up with a cold/sore throat/cough. When I was younger and if we had big meetings at work that followed a similar pattern likewise my period people always said that I was having a cold and I was, coughing etc, because of the more intense workload.
    This weekend I pushed my physical limits while on my period: I was out during the Sunday for 5 hours and out during Saturday evening for 5 hours and on the Tuesday night I have a serious sore throat that again ties me to bed today on the Wednesday.

  26. Iv been bleeding unexpected all the time this time round iv been having pain in my left side of my stomach four 4 days now and also my throat has been hurting what could it be

  27. Yes l have a very sore throat during my period and other flu like symtoms.Plus a pounding headache,not a migraine as l have suffered from them,l don,t class it as a headahe due to all the other neurological symptoms with it.

  28. I had an ablation and tubal three months ago. I also stopped taking birth control after 18 years. Since then, i feel like i’m getting the flu about a week before my period starts. I’m glad i found this discussion. I’ve never had symptoms like this before. I think i will try primrose as was suggested because ibuprofen doesn’t help.

  29. I had sore throats just prior to my cycles and even now that I’m in menopause I still get them. It lasts a few days, feels like someone slashed the back of my throat with a razor and nothing relieves the pain. I often went to doctors who always gave me the dreaded strep throat test and it always came up clean. No one ever suggested to me that it might be hormonal. I wish I’d known since not knowing always made it worse.

  30. I am 37. I seem to get a sore throat around ovulation time or leading up to it. Am ttc so its a pinpoint of knowing my ov date. I feel a little achey but it soon passes. ( almost like im getting a cold). I had a mc 3 months ago at 7 weeks. I got the shot as im negative blood type. I wonder if this had anything to do with mc? I dont get a sore throat before my period though. Just bad moods. Ive been taking maca which seems to of helped with cramps.

  31. Hi I experience tongue sore’s every month a day or two before my menstrual cycle. They are very painful, I can’t even eat…talking is so difficult. Am not sure if I have high progesterone or what. Please assist

  32. My horrible symptoms started about three years ago and have significantly gotten worse 4-5 days before I start each month. My symptoms are Extreme. I get a sore throat , a cough, The feeling like I have a lump in my throat , horrible feeling of air hunger like I can’t get a deep breath , migraines, fullness feeling even when not eating, can’t sleep, along with all the other PMS cravings , irritability etc. The cough, sore throat and air hunger absolutely destroy me for an entire week . I’ve tried everything from essential oil’s to vitamin B and D to over-the-counter meds nothing helps but to lay on the couch until PMS goes away. Running and working out make it completely worse. It’s pure hell . I wish someone would come up with something to help!

  33. I unfortunately experience this. I noticed I started experiencing this when I turned 27yo . My sleeping quality is definitely effected when the period is about to come. In addition to feeling ill in stomach as if I will throw up

  34. I get a sore through about a week before and also struggle with sleep that same week. And a night or two before; i barely sleep. Get restless. Anyone have the sleep issue too. It gets annoying because i train for marathons and triathlons and i feel it takes away from trianing.

  35. A few days before, and a few days into my cycle, 5-7 days in total, I get a sore throat, swollen glands, sometimes a fever on and off for a couple of days averaging 99.5, my glasses feel tight and painful on my head and face and my face hurts in the area my maxilary sinuses. I also often get nausea to the point that I might vomit if I continue any activity whatsoever. My doctor prescribed ondansetron for the nausea. I didn’t realize it could have anything to do with hormones until started keeping track of when these symptoms occur. I felt it had been going on so often, for so long, (years, although it’s gotten worse) I should be keeping track. I then discovered the close proximity to my cycle. I would love to see a doctor who didn’t just look at me like I’m crazy or tell me to take advil (which I do take).

  36. Hello all.

    I have had a tightness in my throat both while ovulating and before my period for several months now. Other symptoms that typically accompany this are: bad tummy, feeling like I need air (some times leading to an anxiety attack), severe nausea and fatigue. This can be so bad that most months I end up calling in sick to work for a few days until the symptoms pass so this is becoming a big issue for me. Would love some advice.

  37. I have always gotten a sore throat and sinuses before and during my periods for 30+ years now. I can remember going to Dr as a teen constantly for sore throat and no one ever linking it to my period . Wish there was a way to prevent it.

  38. I normally have PMS symptoms. This month though, they are crazy worse!! Dtated over 2 weeks before my period smd everything felt magnified! And then i started waking up at night choking and not being anle to swallow because my throat was so bone dry. Now i wake up multiple times a night to a sore snd dry throat. I sm so very tired sll the time! Please help!

  39. this has been going on for several years now. it started right behind my left ear, I knot would form and be very sensitive to were I couldnt move my neck, a long with my ear and throat severely sore and a few day days in to it the top crease of ear would puss and drain clear non smelling liquud. Within yhe last few months tye knot has moved up to wear you can’t see or feel but my throat and ear hurt, along with white blister on my tonsil…is my condition similar to this article

  40. Yes. I also get a sinus infection 3 days before the cycle starts. And sore throat- swollen and pain in my tongue. In my 40s it is all new to me and I am having a horrible time dealing with how sick I feel those 2-4 days before. And I cannot sleep well. I feel like I am having issues breathing.

  41. OMG this is me, I never knew this, I almost thought I was dying, Now I know what’s going on I can start taking care of myself better. I have very rough periods. All of this is happening. headache, sore throats and mood swings.

  42. What a miracle to run across this. For the last 20 or so years I’ve had a sore throat every month a day or two before my period starts. 20 years of monthly thinking, “Oh no, I’m getting sick!” In fact the only time I do get sick is when I’m in contact with someone that has a virus during the week before my period. Other than that I’m pretty resilient. I’m now nearly 50 and currently having thyroid problems. I arrived here wondering if the sore throats and the fact that I’m now having problems with my thyroid is related. In other words, is my thyroid kicking out more progesterone during this time period. I’m beginning to think that my thyroid problems started long ago and it wasn’t until I swung into hyper was it diagnosed. Thank you for your research and thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one that suffers from these sore throats every month!

  43. I have been getting sore throats for a long time just before my period and until now, never had an explanation! I’m interested to read more as I also experience patches of headaches, and have just broken up with a partner partly as a result of my irritability at the onset of week 4.

    I can be on top of the world, competent and vibrant for 3 weeks of the month, but in the 4th, have mood swings, depression, tearfulness, feel fatigued, irritable (if with the wrong person – not with understanding people), and have a tendency to be seriously overwhelmed to the point it affects my job.

    In that 4th week I find life intensely difficult and can’t imagine how I’m going to get through it. It feels all consuming, yet difficult to equate with the person I am the rest of the month. Sometimes I feel desperately in need of help.

  44. My voice is shaky/cracky, I feel a burning sensation on my throat that makes me feel like I don’t wanna talk at all, and sometimes accompanied by shortness of breath. As to my case, I’d begin experiencing the symptoms even about a couple of weeks prior to my period. They’d continue till my period starts, gets a lil better tho on the 2nd/3rd day of menstruation. A friend tells me I could be having anxiety due to pms (w/c could be true) and that I may need to take magnesium supplements. Is this true?

  45. Hi Heather, Have you ever heard of PMDD? Your symptoms that you describe remind me of what a friend of mine goes through before and during her period. You may want to goggle PMDD or ask your doctor about it because there may be help available!

  46. Even with the Mirena iud, i experience severe sore throat, increased sinus congestion/inflammation, migraines and severe lower back pain just days before my cycle/spotting.
    Any tips for relief would welcome.

  47. I have been asking my doctors about this and no one seemed to be able to help me. I have PCOS and endometriosis and have been suffering from really bad sore throats and headaches in my “cycle” now. I need help.

  48. I get my sore throat and severe headache just AFTER my periods. They can get so severe that I have to get multiple shots of penicillin. Sometimes though I get cold like symptoms, nose blockage, fatigue, severe headache, dizziness and general body discomfort, but it never really becomes a cold.. This happens every month. What can I do?