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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663 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. 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.