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

  1. Thank you so much for explaining this. Throat issues that effect my sleep is a sure sign that my period is going to start in the following 24 hours. At least it has been for the last few years. I am perimenopausal and have very low progesterone levels so this completely makes sense. Wish there was a remedy though as it drives me crazy. Although, thankfully, I do find that herbal lozenges help.

  2. Absolutely. I have that very often. I thought it was because my inmune system was affected by hormones.

  3. This is crazy. I never made the connection before but it just came into my head to Google of this was a thing. I’m very surprised that it is! This happens to me too. Thought it was just allergies.

  4. Yes! Thank you for this explanation. A few days before my I get my period I always get a sore throat. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  5. Help I’ve been thinking I have a serious illness only just clicked I believe it’s pmdd or pms sore throat is awful headache been in bed the last 3 days .

  6. Yes I get a sore throat just before my period but I am 47 and perimenopausal so when I do get a period and then it finishes my boobs and stomach are ready for the next one so my stomach is all the time bloated and sore like my breasts. Is there anything I can do to help myself please?

  7. I do not experience a sore throat, but my sleep is definitely interrupted. I do experience headaches and jaw pain from clenching my teeth at night in the days before my period. It is awful. Makes me wonder if it is worth having my tonsils removed, but I am 45 years old.

  8. This has only started happening to me the last couple of months, I either have flu like symptoms or a sore throat a days before my period starts and have it for about 2-3 days after it has came. Talk about annoying! When people have experienced this do you find that our period is lighter and have less cramps?

  9. Thank you so much for this post. I have been looking for answers for 2 years regarding terrible sore throat that occurs every month 3 days before my period. When I started taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D-3 every morning, the sore throats stopped. Your post and also podcast interview with Dr. Stasha Gominak, helped me so much to understand and confirm why Vitamin D-3 helps with this sleep breathing issue. Many many thanks.

  10. Yes! Sore throat, one side of neck in lymph nodes area is very tender to the touch, so much so that I don’t sleep on that side or turn my neck to that side if it can be avoided! My entire body aches, muscles, bones. And I always have one night that I am unable to go to sleep no matter what I try.. all of this become period begins.. then boom, it’s all gone once it starts! I thought I was crazy, until I read this and all the comments! Thank you for writing this!

  11. My Friends gets tonsils and cold every time she has her periods. Will you please suggest something?

  12. Hi! So I was wondering if anybody get a sore throat the last day of their period? This has happened to me my last three periods and I am curious to see if anybody else has this issue? It is very annoying and I am trying to find a reason or a cute for this.

  13. I get sore throat every month about a week before my period starts and sometimes it is so bad that I need to take antibiotics…my gynae said it cannot be explained since I am on the pill so I do not know whether any of you are taking the pill and still get a sore throat…

  14. I always get a very sore throat right before I get my period, along with a pressure headache and flu like symptoms. Once I begin my period, The symptoms slowly disappear. Thank you for the explanation.

  15. I have been wondering why I normally have sore throat and headache just before my menstruation periods. Now I got to understand why. Thank you Dr. Steven Park for your informative piece.

  16. I get a sore throat and the back of my tongue gets sore and aches a couple of days before my period. It takes a few days for my throat and tongue to stop being sore. Sometimes all this comes with earache too. This started about 6 months ago. I’m 43 and wonder if this is a sign of perimenopause?

  17. I am so thankful to have found this post. Much more st ease. Thought i was going crazy. I get unbelievable sore throats about 3 days before my period, hurts to move my head or swallow , sooo tender to the touch. It slowly disapears about 2 days into my period.

  18. I got heavy throat pain and my period has stopped. Is it throat infection is reason for that?

  19. I am an opera singer and experience these symptoms.
    What can I do?
    It is often so difficult to distinguish between a true sore throat and pms.

  20. I get a sore throat DURING my period and I am pretty relieved to hear that I’m not the only one. After reading the other comments I have noticed a few questions have popped up from other people. So for me, I am not taking birth control and still experience this. It’s been a few years since I have taken it so I don’t quite remember if I had sore throats when I was on it as well. Also, my period is NOT lighter when I experience these symptoms, and if anything they are way heavier and with lots of large blood clots (sorry for the in gross description) – but my periods do only last about 3 days.

  21. Ran, tonsils can become larger as a result of lowered progesterone before your periods. Progesterone stimulates your tongue muscles, so you’ll obstruct more often, suctioning up your normal stomach juices into your throat, causing your tonsils to swell.

  22. My sinus problem always becomes worse in PMS week. Sometimes with a red throat on the right side. The sinus problem as well as the sore red throat are always only on the right side . Other women I have spoken to also say the right sinus is their problem one. Any explanation?

  23. I don’t know if I can call it a sore throat per say, but a really uncomfortable tickle as if something is stuck in my throat, I always feel slightly unwell with it. This happens a few days before coming on.

    My situation is a little different though – I am on HRT as i had a surgical menapause at the at of 31, i am 40 now. I use femoston 1/10 and cycle which allows me to bleed monthly but’s obviously not a natural cycle.

    I have been monitoring these throat issues for a while and it’s not my imagination or allergy in the air as the HRT specialist tries to make me believe.. Its consistently EVERY single time I am due to have my monthly ‘cycle’, it usually lasts for a few days but sometimes lingers for up to 2 weeks.

    If you can shed any light on this i would be grateful – also suggest anything that can prevent this annoying throat problems every months

  24. My throat got sore before my periods and im sufferring fron cervical pain before my periods get started . Because of cervical pain i also faces vertigo n vomittings n itichhing in my private part n pain in my chest also plz suggest wat to do

  25. Yes, it is the day before I am supposed to start and my throat is red, swollen, and hurting, and itchy! This happens every month 😩😩

  26. I have been diagnosed with Eustachian tube dysfunction and can’t seem to find anyone to help.

    Early in May I self treated what I believed was an ear infection in my right ear with Neomycin-Polymyxin for 5 days which appeared to clear. About a week later the hearing in the same ear became muffled so I went to the ENT who diagnosed it as Eustachian Tube Dysfunction and despite the Sudafed, Flonase, Zyrtec, Musinex, Neti Pot, one round of Steroids, Eustachian Tube Exerciser, steam treatments, sleeping inclined, and the daily aspirin to try to help with the pressure I experience, the problem has gotten worse. I’ve had a CT Sinus Scan which revealed no infection and no fluid – clear. I also had an MRI of my brain/ear which also showed nothing. Inserting a tube to relieve the pressure was suggested as well as straightening a deviated septum but have agreed to neither. I understand there is a balloon dilation procedure that is still considered experimental so insurance will not cover this $2000 procedure that doesn’t guarantee success without creating add’l issues. I’ve been seeing a homeopath for almost a month yet continue to suffer with reduced hearing and debilitating pressure. No one seems to be able to help. Can you?

  27. Thanks for this information. I get a sore throat and swollen glands a few days before and during my period every single month. It always starts to hurt the same time as my breasts start to hurt.

  28. I frequently get a sore throat a day or two before my period starts! I also feel exhausted 😩 and ache a lot.

  29. i get neck and throat pains before and after my period and i dont know whats causing it. this has been going on for almost a year now.

  30. YES!!!! Thank you. I don’t feel like such an alien anymore. I get awful soar throats and tonsillitis which often flares up into a full blown sinus infection or flu..I assumed that my immune system just dropped before my period :/

  31. Not so much sore but scratchy. I also feel like a cold is coming on i.e. headache, cold, sneezing and fatigued. Then when my cycle starts I’m fine, crazy

  32. Now it is about 3 months that I experience sore throat, I am at the age of 28. The first month I thought it is a cold, the second month I felt there is something like a tuber and it scared me until yesterday that I again experienced it and today my period started. I searched for it and now I am reading this article.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with your patients

  33. OMG Yes!
    I feel like I get a globus or something is stuck in there.
    Also, I do get a sore throat most months before my period.
    I’d never associated it with the period before I saw this article

  34. i happen to have sore throat and body,waist aches before my period almost every month.
    is it due to infection?

  35. I have sore throats every month pre period. Can develop into tonsillitis. Interesting if I have a small bit of wheat I also get it as otherwise am gluten free.