Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common, yet often not talked about, condition that can affect women’s fertility, amongst other things. PCOS is caused mainly by a hormonal imbalance, and it is estimated that 1 in 15 women will be affected by PCOS. When a woman has PCOS, her body has trouble using insulin. In addition, her ovaries tend to produce a higher level of androgen than normal. PCOS symptoms usually include many small cysts on the ovaries, and irregular, or missed, cycles. High levels of androgen may also result in acne, weight gain or difficulty losing weight, excess hair growth on face and body, and thinning scalp hair. PCOS may be partially genetic, as women with PCOS are more likely to have a mother or sister with the condition. Although there is no cure for PCOS, it can be successfully managed. Treatments are based on your symptoms, and whether or not you are trying to become pregnant.