Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

The international fertility industry

International fertility industry
Fertility industry

The global fertility market is growing, in part because of the increased availability of new technologies to treat infertility and the expansion of options for people to create new kinds of families.

Infertility is a complex phenomenon. It reflects an interaction between our biology, our expectations and the expectations of the society and culture in which we live.

Although the local definition of infertility may vary, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 1 in 3 individuals exit their fertile years with fewer children than they had originally hoped for.

Other drivers of the international fertility market is the variation in cost and availability from country to country, and as we have seen this week, how the legal situation can be different as well.

Today, the global fertility market comprises sperm donation, fertility medications and assisted reproductive technology, including IVF, fertility medication, intrauterine insemination, reproductive surgery (e.g. fallopian tube obstruction, varicocele repair), and surrogacy.

As an industry, it is estimated to be worth between £20-30 billion. Over the next few years, it is expected to grow approximately 4% year-on-year, primarily driven by increased age of prospective parents, a global increase in obesity, and cultural changes that have make fertility treatments more socially acceptable; in some cases, even desirable.

For your discussion: Do you think your country is a net importer or a net exporter of fertility services? Do people generally come to your country to seek fertility treatment, if so what kind?

This article is from the free online

Making Babies in the 21st Century

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education