Prenatal diagnosis (PND) in Germany is well established. A wide spectrum of sonographic, cytogenetic, molecular and biochemical investigations can be chosen by pregnant women. While sonographic examinations are offered to all pregnant women, the methods requiring invasive procedures are performed predominantly when there is a higher risk than in the general population. However, PND is also performed on request by the mother in the absence of an increased risk. Pretest genetic counselling is recommended before invasive techniques. PND is performed in public as well as in private settings. Guidelines are in effect for specialisation of gynaecologists and human geneticists. Quality assessment for cytogenetic and molecular laboratories is performed on a voluntary basis. Since October 1995, termination of pregnancies is regulated by a new law.

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