The Symptoms and Causes of Menstrual Molimina

Menstrual Molimina is a term used to describe the cluster of symptoms that you may experience in the latter half of your menstrual cycle.

You do not hear this term used very often to describe this phase of your menstrual cycle. The symptoms that you experience during some part of these roughly 14 days of a typical 28-day cycle are all the result of hormonal changes that are preparing your body every month to get pregnant. It is only when pregnancy doesn't happen that your period starts and a new cycle begins.

A doctor listening to her patient talk about her side pain
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Menstrual molimina refers to the occurrence of three or four mild symptoms such as breast tenderness or mastalgia, food cravings, fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, and fluid retention that occur during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (the time between ovulation and the start of your period).


Think of these symptoms as the side effects of your changing hormone levels. The most significant change that happens in your hormones at ovulation and during your luteal phase is an increase in progesterone levels. The typical physical symptoms of menstrual molimina are predominantly the result of this increase in progesterone.


Because symptoms are caused by hormonal changes triggered by ovulation, they may be minimized by using contraceptive options that suppress ovulation like the birth control pill. It is also why some of these symptoms may be intensified by using progesterone-only contraceptive options like Depo-Provera. The tricky thing about hormones is that not everyone has the same effects from the changes that happen during their menstrual cycle or the same reaction to hormonal medications. Starting the birth control pill could cause great improvement in premenstrual symptoms, but it could also cause significant side effects.

Differences From PMS

Menstrual molimina is not considered PMS or premenstrual syndrome. The symptoms described as molimina are physiologic responses in your body that you will notice but do not interfere with your normal daily routines. The onset of menstrual molimina indicates the occurrence of ovulation. Although the symptoms of menstrual molimina are included as part of the diagnostic criteria for PMS, they are not the same thing. The most significant difference is that with PMS and to a much more significant degree PMDD, these physical symptoms are combined with mood changes that interfere with normal daily routines.

As always, discuss any concerns you may have about your menstrual cycle with your healthcare provider.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • Managing Premenstrual Symptoms. (2008 June).​

  • Warren M, Constantini N. (2000) Sports Endocrinology. New York N.Y.Springer Science.

By Tracee Cornforth
Tracee Cornforth is a freelance writer who covers menstruation, menstrual disorders, and other women's health issues.