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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768 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.

  5. I’m so glad I found this info. I frequently suffer from a sore throat in week 3 of my cycle – it goes usually within about 24 hours, but I also feel fatigue and generally a bit weak. I always think I’m coming down with something and then it all disappears. However, for the few days that I experience these symptoms I feel pretty awful. Is there anything I can do?
    I have also experienced sore gums – in fact the first time this happened they were so sore I thought I had Gingivitus and I got an appointment with my dentist who couldn’t’ find anything wrong with me. I looked it up online and discovered this could be hormone related. Now I keep Peroxyl Mouthwash in my bathroom cabinet for when this happens as its so soothing.

  6. Really happy I found this post. I’m on day 2 of my period and my throat started feeling a little sore yesterday and is a little sore today as well. I obviously started worrying about Covid, but I have no other symptoms other than menstrual symptoms like cramps and irritability. Sounds like I don’t need to worry so much!

  7. Yes, I do experience this. I do feel like I am getting sick. My throat hurts, I am so tired. If this has to do with inflammation, what can be done to reduce inflammation? I eat a diet rich in protein and vegetables, I eat very little to no sugar and drink plenty of water. I try to exercise 4- 5 days a week. I could do a little better at getting sleep. It is hard because I feel like I have to get 8- 9 or more hours of sleep to even feel good. Anything less and I have a sore throat and that isn’t just around my period ( starting day 14) but almost any time of the month. Could there be something else going on?

  8. I get sore throats very frequently. The worst ones are usually allergy related (I have intense seasonal allergies in the Spring). Also generally my sore throats are the worst when I wake up in the morning. I get more mild ones along with a general ‘getting sick’ feeling regularly that never actually turns into anything. After noticing this happen a couple time in the week before my period, I finally realized that this may be PMS even though what I experience aren’t usually listed as common symptoms. I was going to start paying attention to the timings if the symptoms to see if it consistently lined up with that timing, but, for the past month, I have been experiencing my “PMS” systems all the time, including waking up with a sore throat almost every morning. I don’t know why this is. It could be allergy related, but it doesn’t feel like that, and I’m on a bunch or allergy meds and not experiencing any other allergy symptoms. Could this all be hormone related? I’m on a combination birth control and I started taking a new brand with the same active ingredients about a month ago. I felt the worst the first few days I took the new BC. Could this change have any effect on my hormonal balance even if it has the same active ingredients?

  9. Yep- HORRIBLE earache & mild to moderate sore throat day before to roughly day 3 of my period. Like clockwork for every cycle for over a decade.

  10. I do experience sore throats, every month. It’s like clockwork, every time my throat starts getting tight and sore, I know my period is just around the corner. This has been happening more as I’ve gotten older

  11. This article was interesting! I no longer get my periods, but I frequently had this happen in which it always felt like I was about to get sick because I had a sore throat during my period. Maybe not every month, but more than every other month. I thought it was just me, and I thought it was because my periods made me more run down and prone to getting sick! I really appreciate this perspective.

  12. I wish those of us that experience this should get a hormone level check. It would be interesting to see if it lines up for me too. I normally do not get this level of body aches and sore throat and wonder if it age related or if my progesterone is having a weird flux.

  13. Oh my gosh I am so glad I found this and read the comments! This started happening to me around June and every month I thought I was getting Covid! I’d get a sore throat, flu like symptoms such as shivers and general fatigue and each time it was the week before my period.

    I thought I was going crazy and went and got a blood test. The initial test came back fine and I took the results to another doctor for a second opinion and am now waiting for results on a second test (first doctor didn’t check all hormone related stuff) . I’m determined to find a reason as I have a well balanced diet, sleep 8-9hrs a night and exercise 4-5 times a week

  14. I don’t experience the sore throat before my period but for the first 5 days of my period. Equally a drop in blood sugar levels and fatigue. But I don’t always experience these symptoms. I thought it was linked to the peri menopause which I am currently experiencing ….deep joy….

  15. Every month 3/4 days before my period is due I get a really dry sore throat and up in my nasal passage, my breathing also becomes quite wheezy and I get breathless very easily

  16. I get a sore dry throat and often feel sick prior to menstration, My sister is exactly the same.

  17. It’s a trend I’ve just noticed as I’m sleep deprived and my throat is sore, and I woke up to spotting.