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Evelyn Resh MPH,CNM(Certified Sexuality Counselor & Nurse-Midwife)answered(8/12/2012)This is a big question but I will do my best to answer it concisely. PCOS - aka Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is characterized by a constellation of symptoms: hirsutism (or excess and unwanted hair on the face, arms, nipples, stomach), irregular periods or no periods at all, difficulty with elevated blood sugars, an increase risk for diabetes, fertility problems, thin hair and receding hairline, and difficulty losing weight are frequently associated with this condition. It is most often diagnosed by clinical manifestations. In other words, what symptoms is the patient presenting with. There is also a family predisposition for this condition. Depending on how severe the symptoms are, we treat with medications including birth control pills, other hormones, and/or Metformin (for elevated blood sugars). We might also refer women to an endocrinologist if necessary but most OB/GYN practitioners can manage this condition for their patients. if you're trying to conceive, PCOS can be a problem as it can interfere with fertility. I hope this is helpful.