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

  1. I don’t always get a sore throat but usually 2 days before I’m due to start, the left side of my neck around my thyroid/adenoid area swells and throbs. Usually I get a low grade fever and sometimes the pain gets pretty intense. Most of the time it goes away toward the end of my period but sometimes lasts a day or two longer

  2. It seems like just recently (last two months) I’ve been having “cold” like symptoms right before my period begins (lasts a day or two). I get a sore throat, fatigue, and body ache. Last month I thought I was sick but it just ended up going away around the time I got my period. This month, same thing.

  3. I have this issue – just started recently. I’m 32 years old, and frustrated that it keeps happening! I noticed this summer that I’m having trouble breathing out of my right nostril… this makes so much sense. Thank you for the info! I usually have very bad PMS, but the sore throat is new.

  4. do you experience sore throats just before your periods?Yes I do what’s could be the problem and how do I prevent it or treat it in this matter?

  5. I would do anything to get rid of my monthly ovulation sore throats. Nothing helps! I thought Nuvaring would, but it does not. Do we think an anti acid would help? Prilosec does not. Please send help!

  6. I suffer with gerd but just before my period i suffer terribly with my throat, throat clearing and tightness in my chest.

  7. I get flu like symptoms and a sore throat and ear ache 2-3 days before my period and 2-3 days into my period.

  8. When I get a late period I get a really sore throat when I wake up and it gets less irritated throughout the day but then does the same thing for about 5 days. I also get achy muscles, fatigue and feel unable to get up and do much

  9. Great article thank you
    Recently started taking progesterone for hormones, helped with balance. I do have throat issues, blocked nose etc and use CPAP for apnoea. Slept without machine for part of the night without recently and didn’t get a headache. Makes me wonder if this has been part of the issue.

  10. I’m still getting cold like symptoms (sore throat, headache, tired) about 3-4 times annually and I’ve been post menopausal for 20 years. During these times, hot flashes also occur. When I was menstruating, I used to get same symptoms almost every month. Very frustrating

  11. I am experiencing dry throat, it occur before my menses, m so tired n it’s fustrating n depressing, couple with neck pain

  12. I have been dealing with ear pain, throat pain as well as fatigue and being lightheaded or dizzy, every month , a week to 10 days before my period comes.. Like clockwork.. Its a horrible way to have to live and Its so hard to work and keep going with these horrible symptoms!

  13. Hi y’all,

    Just wanted to give you a quick update! I have used natural progesterone cream the first 14 days of my cycle for the past two months and NO SORE THROAT. I’ll continue to keep you updated, but I really hope it’s not a fluke.

  14. Tricia,

    Thanks for commenting. Using bio-identical progesterone cream works by stimulating your tongue muscle tone. This hormone is a respiratory stimulant. We mention this option along other tps to try in our podcast.

  15. Yes, I’m was also getting strep doctor told me I might have to get my tonsils removed. This time swollen glands hard to swallow, but no strep. Also experiencing chills slight fever.

  16. I get a sore throat a few days before my period, I just never realized it. Just now, 3 days from my period while trying to rule out covid19, I found that I’m not the only one.

  17. Yes I do! And I always think that I’m going to get the flu or something becouse my throat and the tiredness. Then the period arrives and the symptoms starts to slowly go away. The female body is not researched enough! It is a crazy system that needs more research that can be applied to school education.

  18. I’m so glad its not just me Ive always had bad pains since young and felt frustrated few days before. Im 36 and for the last year few days before I fell like Im coming down with a flu left tonsil throbbing shivery and light headed!! Noone believes you after a while as every month your coming down with it but it goes away and you look like a you was putting it on. Ive been tested for thyroids but all clear. Horrible when you have kids to take care off!!

  19. I get canker sores near my tonsils before my period. Ive been dealing with this problem for like 3 years now. I had to take advil or cepacol just to ease the pain because it radiates behind my head. Right now, I ate some chicken noodle soup coz I felt sick like i am having a mild fever.After my period, it slowly goes away.

  20. I get sore throats, fluey type aches, exhaustion, low blood sugar, sniffly nose, headache, just before my P you name it! never develops into anything full blown and goes away.

  21. Omg 😮 I thought it was strange woke up with a sore throat & it was very painful 😖 but it was gone the next day 👌
    Wow sore throat & PMT I never would have thought … but I notice as i get older I av newer symptoms of PMT

  22. Wow! I’m really happy I found this forum, especially with Covid19 going around. My body has been changing lately as I am entering my 30s. I used to have no problem with my period, not even cramps. I had my first period flu last year and never experienced it again. This week I had the worst acid reflux, back pain and my first time having dry throat. My anxiety has been through the roof. Looking forward to see if its my period.