Is Your Throat Sore Just Before Your Period?

Updated video on YouTube (6/10/22)

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, and articles, and especially if you read my book, Sleep, Interrupted, there’s a simple explanation. During your monthly cycles, progesterone level 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.

Here's a resource to take the first step in not only helping to get rid of your pre-period sore throat but also to sleep better and have more energy as well.
Then listen to this podcast.



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

  1. I’m 41 and for four years this has been a problem. I’m narcoleptic and I had a new doctor. Triggered a sleep study which showed sleep apnea. I had never had issues with sleep apnea. Then suddenly I’m not being treated for my narcolepsy but for sleep apnea, which I’m guessing if I took a sleep study again in the first two weeks of my cycle. Long story short, I’ve gained 60 lbs and I feel like crap. I have endometriosis. I had multiple surgeries as a younger woman. My periods are like clockwork now, despite my going off the pill. Along with going off the pill, I have this “weird sore throat, I think I have the flu” thing happening.

    I have missed work. I feel like garbage. It’s impacted my life. It would be great if there was something to actually fix the problem.

  2. Lish,

    Sorry to hear about your health problems. Go ahead and treat your sleep apnea as recommended by your sleep doctor. Oftentimes, sleep apnea can present as narcolepsy. Both can cause similar symptoms. Hopefully, getting better sleep will allow your body to heal. Good luck!

  3. So has anyone had this progress into other symptoms? I’ve started to get swollen sore ribs during my period it’s happened for the last 4 months. The Dr doesn’t believe there a coronation but it happens a few days before my cycle and then goes a few days after. I feel like my body is staging a rebellion and I’m over it. I’m 37 I have chronic back pain that is worse on my period and now this rib inflammation. It’s stopping me living my life

  4. I am almost 10 months off depo after 7 years of being on it. It’s a synthetic ptrogesterin that suppresses the natural hormone progesterone. Ive had 11 periods so far after having nothing during the 7 years i was on depo. Anyhow I’ve seen 17 specialists and had numerous tests done. Nobody has answers. My throat is sore my upper back has pain and I get shortness of breath quite often. I need some kind of relief, guidance, ideas. I’m scared and both times my ENT looked at my throat she says my vocal cords look irritated and said acid reflux. So I went to a GI and had EGD done and a PH study… normal. CT of T-spine, C-spine, and head as well as MRI of T-spine, C-spine, and head normal. Pulmonary Function test… normal. ECHO, EKG’s, holter monitor, complete abdominal ultrasound and several chest xrays. Tons of blood work. I feel like I’m a lost cause and nobody wants to take me on because my case is so complex.

  5. Last several months the same time of the month prior to my period I have a sore throat. I also feel sick like a cold. It goes away when im on my period. I started noticing this after having covid and the vaccine. I had covid first then got the vaccine…since then I am sick monthly.

  6. Mary, so sorry to hear. I just uploaded an updated video on YouTube titled Throat Pain With Period Flu — What Can I Do?

    Anything that causes inflammation (virus or vaccine) can aggravate these symptoms. I recommend that you watch the video and follow the steps I recommend.

  7. I’m 38 years old and About 2 years ago I developed viral meningitis, 10 months after having my third child. Since then I have had meningitis around 15 times. Each time I develop meningitis I also have a sore throat and I’ve noticed it also tends to fall around my period. I’ve seen many specialists and have been diagnosed with Mollaret Meningitis, in which nobody seems to have a way of preventing these meningitis episodes. I often wonder if it’s hormone related.

  8. Lacy,

    What you’re describing doesn’t sound like meningitis. It also doesn’t fit the definition of Mollaret Meningitis that well either. Your symptoms may be related to your hormone status, which is what I describe in this blog post. You’re at an age when your overall progesterone levels are starting to get lower as you approach the pre-menopause years. I recommend following the steps I outlined in the article, or watch the linked video on the post. Good luck!

  9. yes i literally found this because the last few months this has happened. so i googled to see if others suffered from this.

  10. I always get problems with throat around 3 days before my period it’s like it’s closing and my breathing appears faster although my resting heart rate same as always I feel out of breath on walks that I would usually jog when not feeling like this

  11. Wow, I have been experiencing this for a while and just realizing all these symptoms I have been experiencing right before my period. My throat feels tight for a day or 2 and I get real lethargic and never feel rested when I wake up. I get encompassing headaches that last all day, and sometimes nausea. I figured it was a hormone imbalance and now I am curious if there is something I can do to help not feel this way right before my period.

  12. I’ve noticed recently maybe in the last two years or so, I get cold like symptoms during my period. Sore throat, cough and weakness but I’m also severely anaemic as well.