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.



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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

  1. This is so helpful. I connected my cough with my menstrual cycle while for information about it. I’m so happy I found this article and see others are experiencing this. It starts with a tickle in my throat. My throat becomes irritated and I feel the need to clear my throat with a cough. This has been happening for over a year now. After the doctor couldn’t associate the cough with anything. I started to mark on the calendar when it starts and its a few days before my cycle begins. Thank you all so much for sharing.

  2. I’ve just started noticing this connection. I have one inflamed tonsil/gland in my throat which hurts more at night. I noticed the same thing last month but didn’t connect it with the run-up to my period until this month when it happened again. I also have the feeling that I need to clear my throat. My sleep is disturbed a bit more lately, anxiety may be to blame for this and also feeling too hot.

  3. Wow! It’s do good to read this and realise I’m not the only one. In the last year or so I’ve been experiencing dire throats and feeling awful a few days to a week before my period. On one occasion I thought I had covid and took time off work, site thought and feeling dreadful, then bam , next day my period and day after that I feel fine. Super interesting to understand the reason. Also I seem to have s lot of indigestible and reflux. I’m guessing this could be connected.

  4. Yes! Every cycle, 5-7 days before my period starts, I have a sore throat (starts off scratchy and progresses, sometimes including gland or ear pain) and feel feverish with aches and chills (without actually having a fever). I also have 1-2 nights of night sweats. Every time thought I was getting sick (especially now with the fear of Covid) until I started tracking the timing. All symptoms go away when my period starts. Glad to hear I’m not alone! I told my OBGYN and he said he’s never heard of these PMS symptoms. 🙄

  5. Noticed the connection for many years I have terrible periods I can barely get out of bed now I’m really bloated and my throat is so sore and nose is blocked to..

    I get a sore throat and fluid retention and exhaustion every month

    I also suffer sore feet and fluid retention

  6. I am so happy to find this article to help me ease a bit. I have been experiencing sore throat and all kids of joint aches in my body before my period begins each month. This didn’t happen before I had my daughter. My daughter will be two in February. I started getting sick after she was born but it wasn’t every month. However it’s been very consistent in the last (2020) year. I also end up with fever. My temperature is around 100 but it has gotten up to 102/103 F sometimes but i normally get chills and my temperature stays around 100. I have been seen my doctor, and also saw the OB couple months ago and they didn’t really connect it to my cycle. Nobody knows why I get sick on monthly basis. But reading this and the comments give me hope:).