40% of artificial inseminations in the EU are already carried out in Spain, according to the Spanish Fertility Society (SEF). After the age of 35, fertility in women decreases considerably. However, more and more Spanish women do not want to have children until they have economic security. The healthcare market has adapted to this. According to official figures, nine percent of births in Spain are already the result of fertility treatments, which are usually cheaper in Spain than in Germany, for example. This made the investment funds enter the business growth plan.
Investment fund business
By 2023, Allied Market Research estimates global industry turnover of €27.5 billion and nine percent annual growth. Some experts predict even 10 percent. In Spain there are already almost 300 clinics specialized in artificial insemination. Companies are also emerging, such as the start-up Woom, which helps women measure their fertility through an app.
Already in 2020, the German Fresenius acquired the Eugin Group, with a worldwide network of reproduction clinics and an annual turnover of around 160 million euros. Last year, the Spanish clinic chain GeneraLife was sold to the American investor KKR for 400 million euros. Currently, IVIRMA Global, which is already a merger between the renowned fertility institute IVI Valencia and the American RMA, is for sale for an estimated value of around 1,800 million euros. Investors such as CVC, Advent and Cinven are vying for the offer.
One in six German women who wants to have a child cannot get pregnant naturally.
There are fewer and fewer natural births in Spain
Infertility is a global problem, but in Spain women have the fewest children on average, compared to other European countries, according to the SEF. While in 1980 Spanish women had 2.6 children on average, today they only have 1.3.
The technological standards and experience of the Spanish in the field of reproductive medicine are high. The technical possibilities exceed the legal limits of many other EU countries.
A baby on vacation
In Spain, singles and homosexuals can also make their wish to have children come true. For years this has also attracted many people from Germany who want to have children. In cities such as Barcelona and Alicante, where the UR Group, one of the largest companies in the sector, has its headquarters, an authentic “baby tourism” has been developed. Hotels and other service providers have adapted to this type of vacationer with special offers.
The clinics often help couples plan their stay and have partnerships with hotel chains. IVI Valencia not only offers an advice service in German, but, like many other competitors, it also has German doctors who can carry out treatments with donated eggs and embryos in Spain. In Spain, the analysis of hereditary diseases of fertilized eggs before implantation is also allowed.
In Germany there are more than 150 fertility centers. Both health insurers and some federal states help finance artificial insemination in Germany.
Artificial insemination costs between 1,000 and 10,000 euros. For younger women living in Spain with fertility problems, the State now even offers help to increase the birth rate.
Artificial insemination is socially accepted in Spain
The country is also attractive to investors and people without children, because people seeking artificial insemination are not stigmatized here. There is little social debate about the ethics of donating eggs or embryos, although Spanish television has already broadcast some critical reports on the business of donating sperm, eggs and embryos and universities also criticize some methods in this area. Likewise, Church representatives do not like business with life. But in general, artificial insemination is simply a medical treatment for many Spaniards.
(gg / er)