Is Your Throat Sore Just Before Your Period?

Updated video on YouTube (6/10/22)

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, and articles, and especially if you read my book, Sleep, Interrupted, there’s a simple explanation. During your monthly cycles, progesterone level 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.

Here's a resource to take the first step in not only helping to get rid of your pre-period sore throat but also to sleep better and have more energy as well.
Then listen to this podcast.



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

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1,031 thoughts on “Is Your Throat Sore Just Before Your Period?

  1. I’m 41 and for four years this has been a problem. I’m narcoleptic and I had a new doctor. Triggered a sleep study which showed sleep apnea. I had never had issues with sleep apnea. Then suddenly I’m not being treated for my narcolepsy but for sleep apnea, which I’m guessing if I took a sleep study again in the first two weeks of my cycle. Long story short, I’ve gained 60 lbs and I feel like crap. I have endometriosis. I had multiple surgeries as a younger woman. My periods are like clockwork now, despite my going off the pill. Along with going off the pill, I have this “weird sore throat, I think I have the flu” thing happening.

    I have missed work. I feel like garbage. It’s impacted my life. It would be great if there was something to actually fix the problem.

  2. Lish,

    Sorry to hear about your health problems. Go ahead and treat your sleep apnea as recommended by your sleep doctor. Oftentimes, sleep apnea can present as narcolepsy. Both can cause similar symptoms. Hopefully, getting better sleep will allow your body to heal. Good luck!

  3. So has anyone had this progress into other symptoms? I’ve started to get swollen sore ribs during my period it’s happened for the last 4 months. The Dr doesn’t believe there a coronation but it happens a few days before my cycle and then goes a few days after. I feel like my body is staging a rebellion and I’m over it. I’m 37 I have chronic back pain that is worse on my period and now this rib inflammation. It’s stopping me living my life

  4. I am almost 10 months off depo after 7 years of being on it. It’s a synthetic ptrogesterin that suppresses the natural hormone progesterone. Ive had 11 periods so far after having nothing during the 7 years i was on depo. Anyhow I’ve seen 17 specialists and had numerous tests done. Nobody has answers. My throat is sore my upper back has pain and I get shortness of breath quite often. I need some kind of relief, guidance, ideas. I’m scared and both times my ENT looked at my throat she says my vocal cords look irritated and said acid reflux. So I went to a GI and had EGD done and a PH study… normal. CT of T-spine, C-spine, and head as well as MRI of T-spine, C-spine, and head normal. Pulmonary Function test… normal. ECHO, EKG’s, holter monitor, complete abdominal ultrasound and several chest xrays. Tons of blood work. I feel like I’m a lost cause and nobody wants to take me on because my case is so complex.

  5. Last several months the same time of the month prior to my period I have a sore throat. I also feel sick like a cold. It goes away when im on my period. I started noticing this after having covid and the vaccine. I had covid first then got the vaccine…since then I am sick monthly.

  6. Mary, so sorry to hear. I just uploaded an updated video on YouTube titled Throat Pain With Period Flu — What Can I Do?

    Anything that causes inflammation (virus or vaccine) can aggravate these symptoms. I recommend that you watch the video and follow the steps I recommend.

  7. I’m 38 years old and About 2 years ago I developed viral meningitis, 10 months after having my third child. Since then I have had meningitis around 15 times. Each time I develop meningitis I also have a sore throat and I’ve noticed it also tends to fall around my period. I’ve seen many specialists and have been diagnosed with Mollaret Meningitis, in which nobody seems to have a way of preventing these meningitis episodes. I often wonder if it’s hormone related.

  8. Lacy,

    What you’re describing doesn’t sound like meningitis. It also doesn’t fit the definition of Mollaret Meningitis that well either. Your symptoms may be related to your hormone status, which is what I describe in this blog post. You’re at an age when your overall progesterone levels are starting to get lower as you approach the pre-menopause years. I recommend following the steps I outlined in the article, or watch the linked video on the post. Good luck!

  9. yes i literally found this because the last few months this has happened. so i googled to see if others suffered from this.

  10. I always get problems with throat around 3 days before my period it’s like it’s closing and my breathing appears faster although my resting heart rate same as always I feel out of breath on walks that I would usually jog when not feeling like this

  11. Wow, I have been experiencing this for a while and just realizing all these symptoms I have been experiencing right before my period. My throat feels tight for a day or 2 and I get real lethargic and never feel rested when I wake up. I get encompassing headaches that last all day, and sometimes nausea. I figured it was a hormone imbalance and now I am curious if there is something I can do to help not feel this way right before my period.

  12. I’ve noticed recently maybe in the last two years or so, I get cold like symptoms during my period. Sore throat, cough and weakness but I’m also severely anaemic as well.

  13. I am so glad to know this happens to other people. I get a sore throat just before my period and it lasts a few days. Often times it’s accompanied by sores under my tongue as well. Almost like the skin under my tongue is sloughing off. Very strange.

  14. Ya i have throat lump but in my blood tests thyroid levels are normal.i dont know why i have little bump in my right throat

  15. I’m 38, also have had it since 1 years ago, and also have a few other cold symptoms, but mainly sleeping issue and sore throat before every period. I thought it was due to taking pills, as I didn’t have it before I started taking pill, or simply because I’m getting old? Now trying to have a second baby, and had a miscarriage a couple of months ago, which I’m not sure is relevant.

  16. This is my third month in a row where my glands swell and I get a sore throat for the duration of my period. Once my period it is done, it clears within hours.

  17. Ella, so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Women with these issues by definition have breathing problems that lead to poor sleep, and this will raise your body’s stress response. There are lots of reasons for a miscarriage, but poor sleep and stress can definitely increase your risk. It sounds like you may want to consider taking it to the next level by seeing a sleep doctor. Did you try the recommendations I refer to in this blog post? I also have a more recent YouTube video on this topic.

  18. I had a terrible sorethroat. I self swabbed and tested negative. The sorethroat worsen on the second day and by the third day, it eases. But I’m not sure if it is because of the honey manuka and panadol that I had consumed. Coincidentally, my period came.

  19. Well… I get the sore throat and cough “during” my period. Its so exhausting. I also have to deal with headaches and a stuck nose.

  20. This happens to me every month (going on ten years now). Doctors say there’s no correlation to sore throat and my period but I disagree. The workaround they gave me was to use birth control to “skip” your period for a three month cycle by using bc back to back. This occasionally worked but wasn’t consistent. Sometimes my sore throat and congestion also turned into a sinus infection and I would as well loose my voice. I’m desperate to try anything that might help this. I’m wondering if anyone with an IUD experiences these symptoms?

  21. I’ve been suffering from this issue for quite some time as well as a host of other PMS related issues. I highly recommend the book “Period Repair Manual” gives amazing insight into how to resolve so many issues. I realized cutting out sugar and gluten solved 98% of my symptoms. Still have a slight sore throat which brought me to this site but everything else that was keeping me down has subsided.

  22. I feel a little late to his party looking at the dates of these comments but I go through extremely painful PMS a little bit before and during my period. The sore throat was a new one for me. Glad to know this is “a thing” unfortunately.

  23. A few years now, right before I get my cycle experience, flu like symptoms. A little higher than average body temperature very inflamed, throat, glands, sore throat, runny nose, the works then as soon as I get my cycle, it all goes away!

  24. Hello doctor ,I’m now 39years old .my last 10years were awful. I have hashimoto thyrodism and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 2 years ago. Approximately before 10days of my period, i feel tired,have muscle ache,sore throat, dyspnea on exertion and eventually feel in need to sleep for a long time during the day Moreover,i sometimes if i were too tired ,i wake up at night unable to breathe,too weak that i can’t move or even speak. i took vissane 2mg for 6 months and felt better but i stopped it due to breast nodes. This summer I’ve seen a neurologist, cardiologist and pulmonary specialist and all results were normal. But after I’ve read your article about sore throat and knew about upper airway resistance syndrome, i used a regular oxygen machine and not a CPAP and felt much better afterwards, my pulmonary specialist ordered a polysomnography but I’m afraid that the result would be normal too so i haven’t done it yet. i hope that my comment would be delivered and replied on. Thanks anyways.

  25. I am a 48 year old woman…The day I start my cycle I get severe tonsillitis (enlarged tonsils with white coverage), accompanied by fever (usually around 101) and body aches….I have been tracking this since January, my period is on a 23-25 day cycle…I am forced to start an antibiotic because symptoms persist…I have had tonsillitis January, March, May, July, September, and now November…ENT is ready to remove my tonsils….help….

  26. I have been suffering with a sore throat, pain between my shoulder blades and am unable to even walk far without my chest hurting. I also have a strange taste/smell that often accompanies all of these symptoms, a sore tongue and what seems to be acid reflux – they all seem to come on a few days before my period and last a week or so afterwards. I have been to the doctors so many times I now don’t bother anymore because I just feel a fraud as they never seem to find anything wrong. I am 54 and put it down to the menopause but it’s so frustrating not knowing what’s wrong.

  27. Maz,

    So sorry to hear about your experience with your doctors. It’s not your fault. I do have a link to a resource for the first steps at the bottom of the article. I also have a podcast about it as well. Another option you may want to look into is cycling bio-identical progesterone cream. There are lots of resources about this that you can find online. As I mentioned in the article, as progesterone drops during menopause, the tongue gets more relaxed. Good luck!

  28. I’m 38 and ever since I got Covid and my period at the same time, every period I have I get chest congestion and a sore throat. I was vaccinated then got covid. After covid I got RSV also during my period. I’m also struggling to sleep before and during my period.

  29. I’m 15 and I started my period, and my throat is so sore, it feels swollen almost. I don’t know how to hide it. Help!!!

  30. I’ve always suffered with this! Even a sinus drip type of thing around the week before my period. I’ve asked my doctor about it & close friends. No one has ever been able to relate to me

  31. I always seem too have a sore throat/swollen glands before my period.

    I have PCOS (allegedly as I’m waiting on further investigation) and only have a couple of periods a year but when it does arrive I have every common PMS symptom listed. One thing I also have is the sore throat, however it’s hard to find much information on that. I think this should definitely be investigated further.

  32. I get severely sick right before my period. Sore throat, headache, dizziness, chills, poor looking skin, darkening of the whites in my eyes, running nose, less healing, inflammation; just pure torture.
    I used to also get severely paranoid, but I have stopped this with pregnenolone once symptoms begin. I have added DHEA and DIM to my supplements daily in hopes of helping what pharma cannot.
    I am tortured by my period.
    I did not produce progesterone in my last pregnancy. I am certain I am low on progesterone. I did get this tested, but since menstrual cycle is so erratic, it’s difficult to measure. I have given up on any additional help from doctors. Pub med and hours of research are my go to now.

  33. I get a terrible cold for maybe a week or 2 before my cycle. I mean sore throat, runny nose, tight chest, congestion, let’s just say I get the works.
    Cold Ned doesn’t work during this time so I just have to wait for my period to
    Come on to get relief. I’m 27 and so far I’ve had this particular pms for a year so this is so new to me I didn’t know your pms symptoms changed at all

  34. I have sore throat and cold every time before my period. This affects my daily life. How can I fix this. I’m 40 and I’ve been having this symptom since two years.

  35. Hello

    I’m 34 I’m struggling massively with the period of time leading up to my period, flu like symptoms – a really sore throat and headaches.

    This has seemed to get worse after having covid and my jabs, not sure if related but definitely been worse since.

    Completely wipes me out and hugely impacts my day to day life.

  36. I’m 47, I always have a sore throat before my period. But also GERD symptoms so I thought the sore throat could be related to that. I normally experience flu-like symptoms and hay fever (all year round) with my PMS.
    I also have anxiety and reflux symptoms when I’m ovulating.

  37. I have started getting a mild scratchy soar throat reliably every month for at least the last 4-5 years. It never goes anywhere but it drives me crazy, especially with covid precautions causing me to miss work and family events. I have read elsewhere (about a different topic ) that the prostoglandins (in this case that are released to shed the lining of my uterus) can trigger receptors (via TRP channels) that mediate the sensation of pain in my throat without there actually being an infection, would this make sense or be possible?

  38. Gini, there are lots of other explanations for why this happens, and what you mention about prostaglandins may be possible. But that explanation won’t give you any answers to improve this condition. Did you watch the video I made where I go over steps to help? If the conservative options don’t help, then some women find cycling over-the-counter bio-identical progesterone cream to be helpful. There are lots of resources available for this option online. Good luck!

  39. I think I actually do get sore throats before my period. I randomly thought about it, then googled. Can’t believe this could be real! Sucks to be a singer and experience this, though.

  40. I’ve always had really strange PMS symptoms. Like others, since COVID I get a sore throat before my period and start to lose my voice. I lost it completely before Christmas. I also start getting spasms in my occipital which will cause a headache or migraine and one leg will be shorter than the other. I know this sounds strange, but it has happened every month for so many years. I think the prolactin has something to do with the occipital and hips becoming hyper mobile which causes nerves to be come irritated and causing the spasms.

  41. Wow I’m glad I googled this because I feel less crazy now lol. Have been getting cold/flu like symptoms for a few days before my period for the last year and a 1/2. It seemed to start after having covid like many others have mentioned. It’s miserable, sometimes I miss work. I have tried various supplements and immune support regimens but no luck.