• Dr. Jones

1 IVF baby in every 100 newborns. How big the IVF market in China?

With the postponement of childbearing age, terrible environment pollution, and society’s lifestyle shifting, couples with infertility trouble are gradually becoming common. According to the "2015 Report of Big Data Survey Infertility", the infertility rate among married couples was 12.5%~15% in China. In other words, 1 out of every 8 couples has infertility problems (10%-20% of patients need IVF treatment), which has been increased tenfold in the past 40 years.

Meanwhile, with the shift of social norms, the rate of doctors' office visiting by infertile patients has been continued to increase. In 2016, the number of outpatient visits in the Reproductive Center of the Third Hospital of Beijing Medical University exceeded 600,000, with a compound annual growth rate of 28% from 2004 to 2016.

Under this circumstance, should the medical investment institutions how to invest in the assisted reproductive market? Now, the Falcon research team will provide an in-depth analysis for you.

1 in 100 newborns is by IVF

In the previous article, we said that assisted reproduction includes IVF and artificial insemination. Compared with IVF, the cured rate of artificial insemination is lower, so the target market is small. In 2016, 1% to 2% of newborns were IVF in China, which has reached the level of the United States (1.7%). We have studied the entire industrial chain of IVF, including hospitals, medicines, and medical facilities.


Licenses are required to open hospitals and clinics in China, but IVF requires an extra license. There are five types of licenses for human assisted reproductive institutions. IVF need three of them. These three types of licenses need to be submitted by the provincial health department for preliminary review and then be approved and filed by the Ministry of Health.

At present, there is also some chaos in this market, including gender selection, multiple embryo transplants, and illegal surrogacy through assisted reproductive technology.

In China, the license of assisted reproductive has gone through four stages: it was approved by the former Ministry of Health before 2007, and 112 assisted reproductive institutions were approved by the end of 2017; from 2008 to 2012, it was approved by the provincial and general departments. In total, there were 358 by the end of 2012; the approval procedure was suspended from 2012 to 2014; the approval was resumed but strictly controlled after 2015. Generally speaking, it is more difficult to obtain access licenses for assisted reproductive institutions.

By the end of Aug31. 2016, there are 437 assisted reproductive institutions in China, 300 of them can perform IVF technology.

Are all IVF clinics crowded? During the interview, the Falcon team learned that there is a clear imbalance among the IVF hospitals that are already operating. 20% of the well-known hospitals attracted 80% of the patients. In some famous hospitals, patients even need to wait for more than 3 months to enter the IVF cycle(That is, from the stage of hypophyseal down adjustment to the final confirmation of pregnancy), these well-known hospitals can generally perform more than 10,000 cycles, or even 20,000 cycles each year.

From what we’ve known, there is no IVF hospital have deficit so far. It is just a question of how many cycles are done.

Due to the cycle is long, the process of IVF is a little bit painful, and patients are eager to conceive. Patients are more inclined to choose those hospitals with high success rates and famous. They would even spend more money on scalper tickets and spend several months waiting in the line. Therefore, brand establishment and patient diversion will be the key points of such hospital management.


The cost of medicine in IVF treatment accounts for 40%, and they are mainly used for hypophysis adjustment and ovulation stimulation. Among them, gonadal hormone-releasing hormone agonists and follicle-stimulating hormones are the most commonly used. Gonafen is the representative one, and imported medicines account for 80% of the entire market.

Due to the high requirements for the accuracy of reagents in IVF, and the homemade medicines are not as good as imported medicines in terms of purity and stability, doctors and patients will choose imported medicines to improve their success rate.

Medical facilities

In a cycle of IVF, medicines and medical service costs account for 40% and 60% respectively, and the medical equipment is used is mainly some long-term use equipment, including IVF workstations, incubators, centrifuges, color Doppler ultrasound. The medical consumables are some low-value consumables, such as disposable egg retrieval needles, culture fluid, etc. Therefore, the investment value is not great.

Which institutions are deploying the assisted reproductive market?

In 2015, Bushell, a mobile-assisted reproductive medical platform, announced that it has received millions of angel investments from a VC. This is an expert tool-type assisted pregnancy APP, which builds a platform linking patients and doctors to provide patients with assisted reproductive services such as online consultation, expert diagnosis and treatment, and scientific pregnancy preparation.

At the end of Nov 2015, Taiantang announced that they would start the strategic cooperation with Tasly. According to the announcement, Taiantang will cooperate with Tasly in the field of assisted reproduction. The specific strategies include the acquisition of genetic testing-related companies and the acquisition of private hospitals. The deployment of private hospitals is mainly to develop the IVF business and connect the upstream and downstream of the reproductive health industry chain.

Tai'antang is not the only company optimistic about the broad market of assisted reproduction. In April 2016, Yongtai Energy announced that it plans to establish a medical fund management company and initiate the establishment of a medical industry investment fund to invest in high-growth medical industries such as artificially assisted reproduction hospitals.

In addition, Livzon Group, Changchun High-tech, Tongue Medical, BGI, Daan Gene, Wanfu Biology, and other companies have also entered the field of assisted reproduction, intending to share a cake in the promising assisted reproduction market.


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