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

  1. My sore throats and flu feeling which knocks me out bedridden Hakeem from start of period and lasts around 5 days. It started in my forties

  2. Yes. Am one of them. I get soar throat and feverish feeling for almost 5 to 6 days… It starts 2 days before my periods and ends on my 3rd day of periods. Is there any solution for this problem?

  3. I’ve observed this as a thing i have for a few months now. I seemed to have been buying strepsils lozenges every month, and the symptoms never amounted to anything so I thought there may be a link between airways or glands during this hormonal shift.

  4. For the last 3 months, I’ve experienced what seems like the onset of the flu 1-3 days before I start my period. It’s bad enough that twice I’ve taken sick leave from work. This month, I expected it and have pushed through – knowing that I’m not really sick. How can I stop this??

  5. I’m 53 and still get regular periods. My sore throat issue has only began at the beginning of this year (2017).

  6. Yes I do , it’s like i get bumps along the side of my face, cheeks , & my lips get very chapped for a week straight then a couple of days later if not the next week my cycle comes on .

  7. For a few years now i have experienced sore throats right before my period. I habe talked to my doctor, Primary and gyno., and neither one had any idea why?
    Finally my primary said it was from acid reflux, i don’t know how much i believe that.
    So this article males sense to me, i lnew it had to be caused by hormones just because of the timing

  8. YES! I am so glad I found this link. After it happened a few times (sore throat and flu like symptoms with body ache coinciding with my periods) I just had to google to see if there was a connection.

  9. My throat becomes dry before my period so I keep drinking water until I feel comfortable. I feel like the back of my tongue has gone lower. I’ve also noticed that as soon as there’s much saliva in my mouth, I swallow it just to feel relieved.

  10. Yes.I am having sore throat,severe back pain and fatigue before periods and during 3days.. is there any solution? should I consult a doctor?

  11. Yes, sore throat and almost like a flu a few days before my period starts. It tricks me all the time and I think I’m getting sick, alas it always “clears up”. So annoying.

  12. So glad I looked this up, thank you for this explanation. I experience sore throats on and off as a premenstral symptom and when it hasn’t occurred in a while I forget that it is not an indication of a cold, especially when folks around me are sick.

  13. Not always but it happens often that I got pain in my throat and have a filling like getting a flu, my ears feel heavier and I have drop nose.

  14. I did today and it is probably caused by my period as I never get throat pain unless I get the flu which only happens once every 5 years or so.

  15. Yes i am a professional artist and musician and my life depends on my voice, and s for the past 6 years my voice always gets super dry and tense literally right before my cycle comes on. I am just fed up! Because it always happens at the worst times! And I have to push through everything. Not being free vocally and my talking voice is as if I smoked. And I’ve never smoked anything! HELP ME PLEASE!

  16. I read somewhere that in the old days, female opera singers have a clause in their contracts to black out certain days just before their monthly periods. For a discussion about what you can do about this problem, please click on the link to my podcast at the bottom of the article. Good luck.

  17. Im 24 and have been dealing with cold like symptoms for months now right before my period (about 5-6 days before) along with back pain. I noticed it gets worse if i don’t exercise as much or eat well so that could also contribute to it but it could be a coincidence. The symptoms go away as soon as i get it though. It’s very frustrating.

  18. I too get a sore throat at times before my cycle. It does not occur every month but will cease as soon as my flow starts. Do you suggest more Vitamin D?

  19. I get this too! I have a sore throat and tooth pain! It just started my last few cycles. No coughing just a sore throat.

  20. I’m so glad I google this!! It has been happening to me too in the last year, I just turned 46! I wonder if there is a connection?
    I have severe soar throat and flu/ cold like Symptoms. I literally have to stay in bed for a day or 2 and then I get better. It took me a few times to actually realize that it always happens at the beginning of my period! I even took antibiotic the first time because it was so severe and I never have soar throat usually. Please advise if you know how to get rid of this!!

  21. I’m getting severe soar throat also tightness of the throat nose blockages and flu like symptoms two weeks before my menstrual cycle ear pains for about 10 years now I really need help can anyone help me please .

  22. I get a tickle in my throat. It’s worse at night and will wake me up over and over coughing with no releif. My whole body is itchy during this time also. About 2 days before my period until my period is finished, I itch all over and have this damn tickle in my throat. It drives me insane, and I am extra tired from not getting sleep. I’m a massage therapist, so it interferes with my work also. No amount of water drinking, or cough drops make a difference. Luckily, it’s not constant during the day, but once I feel the tickle coming it takes awhile to stop and I have to excuse myself from the session for a few minutes. This month I am trying allergy pills to get thru.

  23. I usually get a sore throat or a runny nose two to three days before my period. Sometimes I even get a little fever and headaches. It started around a year ago during the summer and it doesn’t affect me every month more like every two to three months. I am 17 years old and I seriously don’t want to go through my life like this…

  24. Hi, yes I feel as if I am about to get tonsillitis or a cold during the week before my period, but this is not surprising as I also suffer with just about every imaginable symptom in my whole body at this time, as well as having a period every 3 weeks, life is such fun! Just for your titillation here are some of my symptoms:

    I’m fat
    I feel I need the loo when I actually don’t
    My whole lower half hurts from my ribs down to my ankles, severely, as much as when you have flu
    Sore chapped lips
    Tender neck and sore throat
    Migraine either before or after period
    Extreme weakness, like a struggle to even walk upstairs (the rest of the month I’m fit and run and walk and am full of beans)
    Absolutely cannot sleep and have disturbing dreams verging on nightmares
    Cramps, sometimes debilitating, tummy and back
    Limp lank hair even though it is washed every day
    Anger or sadness
    Cannot think straight – this is really bad, I feel like I have a dementia illness
    Wobbly eyesight
    Stabbing transient eyeball pain
    Dry sore skin patches
    Sweating, and convinced I have BO even after showering

    Need I go on?! Every one of these symptoms is very prominent and affects my life, they’re not just mildly in the background, they really hit me like a ton of bricks. I take multivitamin supplements, magnesium and iron every day. I drink water, exercise, don’t drink alcohol or smoke. It’s really not fair!!


  25. I have the sore throat only after period ends … usually just last 2 days and then it is gone. I am about 2 1/2 years into perimenopause.

  26. I am so glad I’m not alone!!! My sore throat started 2 days ago. And it’s really terrible. It’s not the sore throat you’d usually get when you’re about to catch flu. I was about to have it checked today but when I woke up I felt super fatigue and feverish though my temperature was fine. I managed to take a shower and then the cramps started. So I had to stay home for the rest of the day. And then I stumbled on this article. So maybe my sore throat is part of my PMS? Maybe I’ll sit it out for a few days and wait if it clears after my flow starts.

  27. I m 32 and this started happening after I had my son 3 years ago. I realized quite quickly that it was hormonal but I had no idea why. Im a singer so I find this very annoying. I also get sore gums and tongue it is very frustrating

  28. I sneeze a lot and afterwards I Devwwlope a sore throat accompanied by slight fever . I USUALLY take crocin and Gargle with salt water BUT SYMPTOMS reappear.

  29. I’ve experienced this since I was 15, currently I’m 27. I also get one canker sore on the tip of my tongue the day before my period comes. The sore throat starts as early as a week before my period, both symptoms go away after my cycle ends (usually I have a 3 day cycle). I’ve told physicians about it and they always seem to dismiss it. I’m glad I’m not going crazy, I swore I was the only one that this happens to!

  30. Since I started menstruating when I was 11 I get a sore throat for 48 to 72 hours before my period starts. For about 24 hours my throat is so sore I take tylenol 1 gram every 6 to 8 hours and ibuprofen 600-800 mg every 8 hours to make the pain tolerable, especially if I have to work. Drinking hot herbal tea and sucking on hard candy also helps.

  31. Yes I have noticed that I get a sore throat and also a low grade fever for a few days prior to my period. It never leads to a cold, just feeling lousy for a few days. I am glad to read on this post that it happens to others as well.

  32. A few days before my period my throat gets sore and it hurts to swallow. I even get a runny nose. I’m on birth control and the pms sore throat happens every other period.

  33. two days late cough sore throat bloated cramps minimal tired cranky warm head ache why is it late shoulda started o. the 4thits the 6 th why?

  34. This is amazing! I’m so glad I found this. My daughter (13) has complained about a sore throat for the past 3-4 months, lasting anywhere from 5-6 days. Just last month I wondered if it was related to her periods. I’m amazed!

  35. Is tonsil before monthly period normal? I suffer from tonsils with severe fever before my monthly periods.

  36. Yes. I have been having a sore throat and felt feverish once I started birth control two days before I take my inactive pills. The feeling stays with me for a couple days. Then it is gone:

  37. Ugh I thought it was just a coincidence but it has happened a few times now. I am also having hot flashes at night so my hormones being off makes sense. I get a sore throat but no cold and then it goes away.

  38. Yes. Most of time my whole throat gets dry and I feel dehydrated and have sleeping difficulty with restless leg.

  39. Yes. Most of the time I have dehydration with a very dry throat and restless leg. So all these things cause sleeping difficulty.

  40. I have had recurring tonsillitis with fever for two months just before my period is due. This is a strange coincidence which led me to look it up and find your page

  41. Every time I have my period (a week before) or during my period I am having soar throat sometimes with fever. I have an irregular menstruation.sometimes period comes every other 2 months once I have bleeding will last for 8-10days (with soar throat),months of not having period no soar throat occur. but when period comes monthly it comes with soar throat.

  42. Me too very dry sorethroat begins same day of my period which i used to think a begining of tonsilitis but it clears up alone.

  43. Omg! Finally, I have found somebody talking about what I’m experiencing. Just turned 46, last 2yrs, my periods arrive with what feels like onset of an awful flu, sore throat, feverish, dizziness, run-down, cough + extreme exhaustion. All my bloods + regular tests perfectly OK. It’s very baffling, but at minute, 4 days into period + no sign of throat easing. Need to know more.