Information and advice from a doctor

Before opting for medically assisted reproduction, spouses, registered partners or cohabitants, or a third person from whom ova are to be procured, must obtain information and advice from a doctor in relation to the following circumstances:

  • the different causes of infertility;
  • the method, its prospects of success and uncertainties and the scope of the intervention;
  • the possible consequences and risks of the treatment for the woman and the desired child;
  • the medical devices and medicinal products used in the procedure and their side effects;
  • the inconveniences and complications associated with the procedure;
  • any follow-up treatment that may be required and possible longer-term consequences, especially the effects on the fertility of the woman;
  • the costs associated with the procedure, including the follow-up costs to be expected.

The information and advice from a doctor must be provided no later than 14 days before the medically assisted reproduction is carried out. In addition, information and advice from a doctor must be provided using language that is understandable to lay persons. Moreover, the requirement to obtain information from a doctor cannot be avoided in a legally effective manner.

The doctor must suggest psychological counselling or psychotherapeutic care to the spouses, registered partners or cohabitants or third parties whose ova or semen are to be used. In addition, the doctor must inform them of the possibility of consulting other independent counselling services.

If a child is conceived using ova or sperm donated by a third person, the psychological or psychotherapeutic counselling or care for the spouses, registered partners or cohabitants must relate, in particular, to the challenges associated with that type of procedure for the parents and the child.

Legal basis

Section 7 of the Fortpflanzungsmedizingesetz (FMedG)

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 25 January 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Justice