Anna Evans

It’s Probably Your Hormones by Dr. Mary Ryan

‘It's Probably Your Hormones’ is a great tool for educating more people on women’s hormonal health.


The book has gotten 3.59 ⭐️ on GoodReads.

Women’s hormonal health is a complex and vital aspect of their overall well-being, intricately linked to various bodily functions and emotional states. Unfortunately, throughout history, it has often been suppressed or overlooked, leading to numerous consequences.

Societal taboos, lack of education, and gender bias have contributed to the stifling of open conversations about menstruation, menopause, and reproductive health. This suppression has resulted in women’s pain and discomfort being dismissed as trivial, their emotional fluctuations undermined, and their hormonal imbalances misdiagnosed or disregarded. ‘It’s Probably Your Hormones’ by Dr. Mary Ryan makes a step to break down these artificial barriers and educate readers on the issue.

Author’s background

Dr. Mary Ryan graduated from Trinity College with an MB BCH BAO the Peter Shepherd Memorial Prize, Adelaide Travel Scholarship Award and Honours in the Foundation Scholarship where she specialised in female infertility.

She later graduated with a MA and MD from Trinity College which she did on Diabetes, Obesity and Insulin Resistance.

Dr Mary Ryan lectured in Pharmacology in the RCSI under the stewardship of the President of University of Limerick Professor Des Fitzgerald and has a special interest in Diabetes, insulin pumps, obesity, infertility, osteoporosis, hypertension, Hyperlipidaemia thyroid disease and chronic fatigue.

She is Senior Lecturer with the Post Graduate School of Medicine since its commencement in 2007 and is actively involved with clinical research and supervises and publishes research with the medical students on Endocrinology and Diabetes.

What is the book about?

‘It’s Probably Your Hormones’ is about understanding and exploring the intricate role of hormones in the human body, particularly focusing on women’s health. Dr. Mary Ryan shares her fascination with hormones, their powerful impact on various aspects of life, and their influence on bodily functions. She emphasises that hormones control everything from physical actions to emotions, sleep, appetite, reproduction, and overall well-being.

The book delves into the interconnectedness of the body’s systems and how hormonal imbalances can disrupt these interactions, leading to health issues. The book also highlights the lack of research and awareness surrounding hormonal health, particularly in the context of women’s life stages such as puberty, perimenopause, and menopause.

Dr. Ryan advocates for open conversations about women’s health and the importance of understanding one’s body. She encourages readers to prioritise self-care, and recognize the significance of hormonal balance in overall well-being.

Key takeaways from ‘It’s Probably Your Hormones’

1Hormones control everything about our health

Hormones control every muscle and organ in the body. Hormones play a significant role in both men’s and women’s health. Many common concerns and symptoms, such as exhaustion, pain, anger, changes in sexual desire, sleep issues, weight gain, and more, can be related to hormonal imbalances.
When a single hormone is out of sync, it can disrupt all other hormones. Hormones dictate our daily rhythms, stabilize our immune system, regulate our appetite and core body temperature, and influence our feelings and moods

2Breaking taboos is important for healthcare progress

Historically, there has been a lack of open dialogue about women’s health, including topics like menstruation and menopause. Breaking down these taboos is crucial for educating people about their bodies and fostering better health outcomes.

3Education is empowerment

Educating individuals, both women and men, about hormonal health empowers them to recognise normal and abnormal symptoms. Particularly, educating women about what constitutes a normal menstrual cycle can help prevent unnecessary suffering caused by conditions like endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. People should always ask informed questions, and seek appropriate medical intervention.

4Early intervention is the key to effective treatment

Recognising and addressing hormonal problems early, such as during adolescence, can prevent future fertility issues and provide a better quality of life for young women.

Table of contents

  • Dedication
  • A note from the author
  • Epigraph
  • Introduction
  • CHAPTER ONE: Why We Need this Book
  • CHAPTER TWO: The Endocrine System
  • CHAPTER THREE: Menstruation
  • CHAPTER FOUR: Fertility
  • CHAPTER FIVE: Perimenopause
  • CHAPTER SIX: Menopause
  • CHAPTER SEVEN: Diet and Hormones
  • CHAPTER EIGHT: Stress and Hormones
  • CHAPTER NINE: Sleep and Hormones
  • CHAPTER TEN: Self-Esteem
  • Acknowledgements
  • Copyright
  • About the Author
  • About Gill Books

Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews


  • Compassionate writing style: Dr. Ryan’s writing style is approachable and easy to understand, making the content more engaging and relatable compared to a traditional biology textbook.

  • Contains valuable Information: The book provides insights into hormone health and its impact on the female body.

  • Inclusion of case studies: The book includes case studies, which can help readers connect theoretical knowledge with real-life scenarios, enhancing understanding.

  • Advocacy for awareness: Dr. Ryan encourages women to speak up and understand their own bodies, empowering them to navigate the changes they experience throughout their lives.


  • Surface-level coverage: One reader mentions that the book only scratches the surface of various topics. This suggests that while the book covers a wide range of subjects, it might not delve deeply into each one.

  • Assumption of resources: Dr. Ryan’s feminism is criticised for assuming that women have unlimited resources. This might indicate that the book doesn’t fully acknowledge the economic and social constraints that some women face.

  • Incomplete perspective: While the book seems to focus on women’s issues, one reader suggests that it could also benefit men. This implies that the book might not fully explore the universal aspects of hormone health.

Quotes from ‘It’s Probably Your Hormones’

“Unfortunately, PMS was one of those things that women thought they needed to suffer in silence, but of course, we now know that like so much of women’s health complaints, that silent suffering is unnecessary.”

“Many men haven’t the first idea what we go through because they were kept away from the women’s part of sex education in school and we have historically been taught to say nothing. This is not normal and it is not fair to men either; they need to know about our hormones so that they can support us at home and in the workplace. We must remember that we are 50% of the population and they are also 50% so it is time for us to work together and for us to insist that we are seen as equal because we know we are equal.”

“We are great at telling women what to do when it’s slightly too late. We talk about osteoporosis at menopause and we tell women about pelvic floor exercises in antenatal classes. Why aren’t we telling younger women about their bone health and explaining the importance of building up the pelvic floor before they are carrying an eight-pound baby inside them?”

Final takeaway

It’s Probably Your Hormones aims to educate and empower readers about the role of hormones in their health, emphasising the need for awareness, self-advocacy, and a holistic approach to maintaining hormonal balance.

Where to buy

You can buy ‘It’s Probably Your Hormones: From Appetite to Sleep, Periods to Sex Drive, Balance Your Hormones to Unlock Better Health’ on Amazon. It’s available in paperback and audio formats.

Healthypedia FAQ

The author of ‘It's Probably Your Hormones: From Appetite to Sleep, Periods to Sex Drive, Balance Your Hormones to Unlock Better Health’ is Dr. Mary Ryan. She was trained at Trinity College Dublin and obtained her MB BCH BAO MA MD MRCP in 1992. She completed her Specialist training in endocrinology. Dr. Ryan is a regular contributor to the media, a senior lecturer at the University of Limerick and host of the Empowering Women podcast.

Weight gain, insomnia, libido loss, fertility issues and acne are just some of the possible signs that something is wrong with one’s hormones.

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