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

  1. Oh wow.I stumbled across your website searching for some answers and this is really surprising.Since end of last year I have been suffering from something similar to globus and chest tightness,last 3 months I started tracking it and I notice it comes before period,then go away..I have scoliosis (Harrington rods put in 2001) but I am fully fit,do weight,running etc,I suffered from ED in my 20s now I suffer from anxiety (only?).I am looking for something serious in every symptom.
    My GP during last visit literally told me that other people have worse problems and I am wasting my time.I notice that chest pain and problems with breathing are also worse after big dinner.I had my hormones tested couple of years ago,all in norm.I am not taking hormonal contraception had my child 7 years ago.Never had this problem until last year.

  2. I do get sore throat and hit flashes no sleep during periods and it’s start sometimes a week or two days before periods

  3. I’m glad it’s nothing serious because I got scared i might’ve got thyroid problems as it’s genetic in my family. I’ve realised I have had a sore throat for the past 3 periods and feel very dizzy and drained just like before a fever.

  4. Last 2 months I got what felt like a swollen or “coated” not quite sore throat, but feeling like my air way is closing. I thought maybe just a fluke and hoping it wasn’t covid19 related. It did go away after my period was over. Now this week my period has begun and its back! Feeling like its hard to breathe but not from within my lungs or chest its within the back of my throat and when I swallow. Cant really see my Family dr during this time. So strange that this has started out of nowhere.

  5. My symptoms are very similar to Monica’s, another comment on this thread. My throat feels more swollen, difficulty swallowing, like my airway is closing but I can breathe just fine. The past several months I’ve noticed the pattern that went with my period, specifically right before.

  6. Oh my goodness! I am the same. In the lead up to my period I experience sore throat a bit of coughing but not much and anxiety gets a bit worse. I’m so glad I’m not the only one experiencing this as I too thought I was suffering from covid-19 symptoms.

  7. I’ve noticed I get a sore throat a few days before my period. I’ve brought it up to family members and none of them experienced it, I always thought something was strange about me. Interesting to know it’s common.

  8. Yes Ladies, so have I, its the weirdest thing in the world to me, I’m 54, my period has caused my throat soreness, my doc thought it was my allergies, told me to increase allergy meds, but, reading this let’s me know I’m okay, I’ve never had this happen before, I was also afraid, because of covid 19. Well, now we all know, this is still puzzling, never have I ever heard of this before.

  9. Oh my god! This is me! Terrible acid throat….. have to take lanzoprazole…. sore throat…. bad chest…. think that is the acid. I wake up gasping…. absolutely shattered just before my period!

  10. I experience this symptom. Glad I read this article as due to the virus at the moment I got a little panicked! Here is to gaining a greater understanding to beat anxiety! My period is certainly due soon so I am positive this must be the case. Thanks for writing.

  11. Yes! My throat is a little funny feeling also have the tired behind my eyes feeling like I’m coming down with something. Its happens every month butnof course now it worries me a little because of the virus. Glad to know its not just me

  12. Hi sir I don’t have this problem before just now when I got older Everytime I had my period m throat feels like tight there. Is there a way to fix this maybe supplement …? Glad I’m not alone.

  13. Me too! For the last 3 periods I have thought it was due to acid reflux, but I don’t understand why it starts right when my period does and lasts for a few days to a week, then I have a couple of weeks where it’s fine, then happens again right with my period. This was the first month I put all the pieces together. I also feel like my airway is constricted, but it is all in my throat and I am breathing fine, it just feels like I’m not. The first couple of times I was worried it was Covid as well. I hope someone figures out what this is and how to help it.

  14. Not only do I get a sore throat but I get earache as well. Nice to see I’m not the only one suffering this.

  15. The same thing has been happening to me for the last few months – seems like every 25 days I have a sore throat/sometimes earache. My throat gets white patches and tonsils swell a bit. I was treated for strep the first month the second month they assumed it was viral. Wondering if anyone else gets white patches?
    Thank you!

  16. Can’t believe what I’m reading! I have the same symptoms (site throat, headaches, feeling feverish) and it just started this year. How odd.

  17. Wow me too, this happened with me for the first time ever, i was a little worried during this time but after reading the comments I’m relieved !
    It feels like something is stuck in my throat when i swallow and it’s my second day period.

  18. It seems a lot of us have had this start recently, especially during this stressful time I am wondering of anxiety is exacerbating the problem. Mine is lasting a little longer this time.

  19. This has been happening to me since my period started back in March 2020 (gave birth last year). I’ve been so worried that it might be COVID-19. I am so happy to have found this information and to know that I am not going crazy.

  20. I could be proved wrong (depending on my Covid-19 test results that I’ve had done today) but I have been noticing sore throat and generally unwell as if early virus before periods for a long time. This time (I suspect this is what it is!) it is worse, with accompanying bilateral ear pain and, like most times, a feeling as if I am getting a fever, but often just looking and feeling flushed and exhausted for a few days. Oh dear, the feminine mysteries abound!

  21. I get a sore throat and swollen tonsils after my period without fail and its been going on for ages. My period is really heavy and painfull. The hormone changes also cause migraines. They have been better since being put on a low dose of propranalol. My period seems to cause me so many problems I just feel like i’m recovering from the last when it all starts again. I can’t wait for them to end.

  22. I have started getting a mild scratchy soar throat reliably every month in the last few years (possibly forever). It never goes anywhere but it drives me bananas (especially during covid-19 as I need to isolate “just in case”) I have a theory (based on noooot much research) that the prostoglandins my body releases to shed the lining of my uterus trigger receptors that mediate the sensation of pain in my throat without there actually being an infection, would this make sense or be possible?

  23. Thank you, I have been searching for an answer as well! Since December 2020, I have had every symptom you desribed in this article. Low and behold they seem to appear a week before my cycle each time. Some months worse than others. I have visited my doctor countless times, and always told I am in great health. I began thinking the worst things possible which led to anxiety. Thank you so much for explaining in detail what is actually going on, now I will not worry as much as I have previously!

  24. I am getting the throat pain or sometimes sore throat like 7 to 8 days before period and it has been started since March, this month I am feeling little pain in my throat feeling like its swelled, also I get one migraine pain always before my periods
    Whats the solution to this

  25. For the last few months I seem to get a sore throat and ear pain around the time of ovulation and a few days before my period.

  26. Thank you thank you veery much I was going crazy a whole week of weakness, tiredness, sleepless nights, fatigue, hit flashes I was going crazy and mood swings, 2 days with sore throat my anxiety level is high.. Specially with time of covid. Yesterday I couldn’t stand straight felt like fainting and lightheaded.. Thank God I found this page…

  27. My throat glands become inflamed about a week before my period and don’t start to go down until I fully get my period. I always feel like I’m going to come down with something…but then it goes away. I have an ultrasound on my glands just to make sure there is nothing wrong. It’s been going in for a year and seems to be getting worse.

  28. Yes! I have that right now! annoying time in life to have this pms symptoms what with covid. but it came up just yesterday and today and I’m due for my period tomorrow. its a strange sore throat sensation. doesnt hurt at all when I swallow, just feels a bit acidy? and inflamed? strange. I also get temperature spikes 1 week before my period which I can mistake for fever, and then my temperature is slightly elevated (99.4 ish) up until my period. is this normal too?

  29. Raua,

    When progesterone is elevated during your luteal phase, core body temperature goes up. Search for images on body temperature and monthly cycles and you’ll see what I mean.

  30. Reading through the comments is blowing my mind! Since March, I too have been having feelings like I’m coming down with something and have a scratchy/sore throat in the days before my period… this time around, I’m a couple days late (stopped breastfeeding in February and periods have been whacky since!) and it feels and looks a bit like my left tonsil is swollen. I’ve been gargling a ton today… alternating salt water and watered-down Hydrogen peroxide to try and keep it at bay and keep my anxiety down. I’m sure this has happened in the past but now we all have such a heightened awareness of how we feel. I’m glad I’m not the only one!!

  31. I have also been experiencing this since March this year….. this is so bizarre!

    My right tonsil is inflamed and won’t seem to go down but I keep getting a sore throat just before my period. Swab comes back negative for anything each time.

  32. Melissa,

    I’m asking you the same question I asked Jenny. Which side of your head is down on the pillow while you sleep?

    I will explain why I ask after the two of you answer.


  33. Yes! I googled this because I’ve noticed this. Not every single cycle, but frequently enough for me to make this correlation! I’m glad I’m not alone and it’s normal. Thanks!

  34. I am the same thing, mine started like 19 months ago. I have sire throat befire period, feeling cold all the time, running nose allergy bad, have sleepless nights before period. I’m in my 46. I too was worried about covid19. Glad im not the only one. Have to gasp when wake up,ike my throat has something. I will try taking multivitamins I think it will help.

  35. Wow I get the exact same symptoms! This only started since having my son who’s now three! But recently I’m getting the symptoms around ovulation then again just before my period

  36. Oh how relieved reading these comments have made me.. to find I’m not the only one having the sore throat and earaches and heightened anxiety especially with what’s going on with this pandemic

  37. Yes, I always did. I’m now in menopause. I can’t remember how many doctors I told that just said maybe coincidentally I was just getting a cold. Then I’d ask, twelve times a year? Now, that’s a coincidence.

    Right now I’m a covid long hauler. (Oddly I’ve tested negative, but I’m sure I had it.) My throat feels bizarrely similar to my premenstrual sore throat. Actually, when I take pepcid it helps. Do you think covid raises progesterone production and causes same effect as the above mentioned? I’m just trying to make sense of this, and my doctor is treating me as if my symptoms are unrelated to covid.

  38. I think many like me are noticing this because we are all more alert to these symptoms due to Covid. I too have noticed these sore throats the last several months and finally realized it’s happening right before my period. I also get body aches at the same time. Glad I’m not alone.

  39. Well, this is blowing my mind. My period was due to start today (Friday). On Monday of this week, I woke up with a sore throat and was majorly fatigued, so much so that I had a hard time making it through the day at work. When I came home I social distanced from my household because I was worried about Covid-19. Tuesday my sore throat was still slightly present, but I felt fine and my worries subsided. Wednesday I woke up with a painful, swollen throat, concentrated in my right thyroid and ear, which is still around today. I’ve also been achy and tired all week. I thought maybe I was developing an ear infection from swimming in a pool this week, but after reading this thread I’m thinking differently. PMS is no joke!

  40. This is exactly how I feel a couple of days before my period starts. It’s been happening for 6months, regularly, as my periods, every 28 days exactly. I feel energy drained, I sleep poorly and feel flu like, sore throat, muscle aches, restless legs, low grade fewer, palpitations and some type of pressure on my chest.When it first happened, me too as many women stated on the comments, I thought I was coming up with something, then when it happened again I thought “wow my defenses must be very low” although I am a healthy person in general I blamed it to having slept with slightly wet hair as I forgot to dry it and with cold AC in the room. The third time and so on I started to link it to my period, yet couldn’t explain it.
    Thank you Doctor Park for shading some light into a problem many women have and many doctors seem to overlook or just believe it is coincidental. It is a true PMS syndrome, it is real and many of us suffer from it. During the pandemic it is a relief to know we aren’t suffering from covid19 every single month.
    If it is useful for everyone else out there, I have just turned 43.

  41. Omg thank you for this article and comments. The commenter “Monica” explained my symptoms so perfectly. A few days before my period, my throat/chest feel swollen/pressured, not exactly “sore” like it would be with Strep or the cold/flu. Sometimes it feels like I’m holding back a cough, but it’s not a pressure to cough with every breath like with bronchitis. Then it disappears as soon as I get my period. With COVID-19 going on, I’ve been obviously a lot more aware of and anxious about this, so I’m grateful for this resource as a way to better understand what I’m experiencing.

  42. I recently noticed this as well and I agree with the poster that wrote that we probably are all paying more attention to these symptoms now due to covid. I know that even just six months ago I wouldn’t have thought twice about a mild sore throat with no fever that only lasts a few days. Since March I’ve been keeping a symptoms log just in case it turns out to be covid and that’s why I finally noticed it always was occurring just before my period. I recently switched birth control but so far no change in these symptoms.

  43. I am 51 and have begun peri menapause. My period is no longer regular but I do still get it. I have noticed this correlation between a sore throat and pms for a while. I mentioned it to my gyn and regular doc and both seemed doubtful that I was on to anything. It is such a relief to read this feedback from other women!!! Since March 2020, I noticed this sore Intermittent sore throat occurrence getting even worse and it’s difficult to track because my period is no longer predictable. It’s been so concerning that I took a covid test this week because I started to think maybe it wasn’t connected to menstruation. I am waiting for results of the covid test. Assuming it’s negative, I feel better knowing that my sore throat is related to hormonal cycle. I hope we can learn more about this and treatment options.