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

  1. Oh my goodness! This has been happening to me every month like clockwork. Dry throat, face flushed, sometimes ear pain. I’ve been testing for COVID at least 4 times for the same symptoms and negative each time. It’s got to be cycle related. So weird! I’m sorry everyone is experiencing this but glad I’m not alone. I’d be interested in joining a group if someone sets it up.

  2. I have a sore throat and feel feverish and just sore all over the week before I start my period. Occasionally, it will be a little longer before I start. I have to remind myself that I’m not crazy and I’m not dying, I’m just about to start menstruating. Some months it’s bad enough to where I genuinely feel like I’m getting the flu. I also have endometriosis so how severe these symptoms are usually coincides with how bad of an endo month that I’ve had. For example the past couple months have been really painful and miserable as far as my endometriosis is concerned and I’m a week away from starting my period and I full-on feel like I have the flu right now.

  3. This started happening to my 2 years ago and I thought I was crazy till like 3 months ago when I asked my dr about it its really been scary since covid started bc you just never know but im so happy im not alone

  4. Yes, I’ve only really noticed it these last few months, sore throat, thickly throat and headaches. For the first three months I was convinced I had covid each time even had a test the first time, but then realised that it was linked to my cycle, now have to remind myself each time, great to know I’m not the only one and there’s a good reason for it.