Affecting 3.5 million people in the UK, infertility is a cause of heartbreak for one in seven couples. That’s precisely why, in 2010, we launched our not-for-profit IVF drugs, selling the medication required for a cycle of treatment up to £820 cheaper than other pharmacies. Since then, hundreds of couples have visited Asda pharmacy to fulfill their dreams of becoming parents. This month it's National Fertility Awareness Week (31st Oct – 6th Nov) so we're sharing the stories of three happy mums who conceived their little miracles with some help from us..!
‘I had five miscarriages’
Nichola Buxton, 38, works in university administration. She lives in Nottingham with her husband Neil, a 38-year-old IT worker, and their eight-month-old son Harry.
“My husband Neil and I first started trying to conceive back in 2008, and fell pregnant for the first time a few months later. Naive and blasé, we assumed everything would be okay and excitedly announced the news to our families – but then I miscarried a few weeks before my first midwife appointment.
Over the next six years, I had four more unexplained miscarriages before 12 weeks – each one a bitter disappointment. Tests were inconclusive so, in 2014, we turned to IVF.
We were heartbroken when our first attempt failed. A few months later, we started another round using a frozen embryo from the first cycle, but it died when they removed it from the freezer for implantation. Yet again, we were crushed.
By then, our struggle to have a child had taken over so many years of our life – we knew we couldn’t let it consume us. So we decided to have one final roll of the dice, paying for it privately. We’d recently moved house and money was tight, so when I read about Asda’s not-for-profit IVF drugs, which would save us around £300, it sounded perfect.
This time, I tried to relax and did some meditation, which I’d never done before. And when two blue lines appeared on a pregnancy test, I burst into tears of relief.
A scan a few weeks later showed a little heartbeat thumping away on the screen, but I was still on tenterhooks. After all those miscarriages, I was terrified something would go wrong again. Every ache, every twinge, I froze in panic.
When Harry arrived via C-section, weighing 7lbs 2oz, I still couldn’t quite believe it. After eight years, Neil and I were parents at last. Now a happy little livewire, he was worth ever second of the wait.”
'I thank Asda for my miracle baby!'
Joanne Wood, 37, is a dental nurse from Fleetwood in Lancashire, where she lives with her husband Eddie, a 55-year-old process worker, and their nine-month-old son Harlen.
“It took eight long years – and a last-minute intervention by Asda, who saved the day – for us to have our beautiful baby boy Harlen. I’d always wanted to be a mum, but my partner Eddie had a vasectomy before we met in 2006.
Two years later, we decided to try IVF. Because of the vasectomy, we weren’t eligible on the NHS, so our only option was going private. Luckily we had some savings, so we had our first try, then our second, third, and fourth. Sadly none of them worked, even after Eddie’s vasectomy was reversed, and tests revealed my immune system was rejecting the embryos.
It was horrible knowing my own body was to blame, but I was determined to stay positive. In 2015, we began our fifth cycle, but one Saturday 10 days before the embryo was due to be implanted, I realised that I’d run out of drugs. My clinic couldn’t get me any more till the following Tuesday, but that was too late – we’d have had to abandon the cycle entirely.
In desperation, I started frantically ringing round local pharmacies to see who had them in stock. Asda pharmacy were the only one, and they were fantastic – ringing me back at 8am on Monday morning to say they’d arrived and I could come and pick them up. Even better, they were £160 cheaper than we usually paid. From that point on, I continued to use Asda pharmacy for my IVF drugs – and a few weeks later, I found out I was pregnant with Harlen. Eddie and I have recently tied the knot, and we’re considering trying more IVF so Harlen can have a little brother or sister. If we do, we’ll definitely use Asda. I feel so indebted to them.”
‘I kept panicking something would go wrong’
Emma Kearney, 32, is a nurse who lives in Stoke-on-Trent with her husband Shaun, 30, a sales director, and their 17-month-old daughter Ellie.
“As a nurse who works in the special care baby unit, I suspected there was something wrong when Shaun and I couldn’t conceive. We started trying a year after getting married in the winter of 2012, but nothing happened – and my intuition told me it wasn’t just a matter of time.
So, in January 2014, I went to our GP, who referred us for tests. They revealed that Shaun has a low sperm count, and IVF was our best chance at conceiving. We began our first cycle in September 2014, using Asda’s not-for-profit drugs to keep the cost down as much as possible, and tried not to get our hopes up.
I knew the chances of it working first time were slim, so we were overjoyed when I fell pregnant. It wasn’t easy, working 13 hour shifts on the ward with morning sickness and exhaustion. Plus, because of the things I’d seen at work, I kept panicking that something would go wrong. But as my pregnancy progressed, I started to relax, and our gorgeous daughter Ellie was born safe and well in June 2015.
Motherhood is everything I imagined and more – Ellie is a gorgeous little toddler now, full of giggles and mischief, and we’re hoping to extend our family soon. We have four embryos left from the first cycle, and we’re planning another round of IVF after Ellie turns two. We’ll definitely use Asda for the drugs again, and would recommend them to anyone.”
For information about IVF prescriptions from Asda and a free consultation with one of our qualified pharmacists, visit the Asda Pharmacy at your local store.