Kilkenny couple begin landmark fertility study

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A couple who have struggled to conceive are embarking on a 90-day fertility boosting programme in a landmark effort to get pregnant.

A couple who have struggled to conceive are embarking on a 90-day fertility boosting programme in a landmark effort to get pregnant.

Frances Micklem and Jani Ilvonen from Castlewarren have been together for over two years and are e ager to conceive.

Both wanted to explore all options, before committing to assisted reproduction techniques like IVF or other medical interventions.

They’ve now chosen to follow the pre-Conceive programme which will see both of them take a specially-designed nutritional supplement daily and follow a healthy lifestyle regime. Their journey is now being followed by TV3’s Ireland AM as part of a regular, fortnightly slot which lifts the lid on fertility in Ireland.

Twelve other couples are already more than half way through Europe’s first ever clinical study into the use of pre-Conceive on both male and female fertility. Wexford-based nutritional supplement experts, Pillar Healthcare, developed pre-Conceive and are working with fertility specialists, ReproMed Ireland, on the landmark study which examines sub-fertility, using advanced tests, while taking the most active nutritional supplement for improving fertility.

Pre-study testing of the initial 12 couples shows chronic deficiencies in Vitamin D3 and antioxidant levels as well as poor diet, high sugar and stress levels and a lack of understanding about good nutrition.


“We’re very hopeful,” 43 year-old energy healer Frances said. “We’ve been trying to conceive for over a year and a half. It’s just not happening so we know we need help. I heard of pre-Conceive and we were very eager to try it.

“I’m 43 now so I am a bit late in starting to try and conceive. I have less eggs to play with and a possible deterioration in quality too. I just wasn’t ready to get pregnant up to now.

“We have met the team in Pillar Healthcare, who believe that we have a healthy lifestyle and the product is so therapeutic and unique in its doses, that it can actually strengthen our reproductive systems. We hope that pre-Conceive can deliver this and that it can rid the body of most of the harmful free radicals and other polluting factors that both our bodies will return to optimum function,” the Kilkenny-based healer said.

Healthy Diet

Frances already has a very healthy diet and says she’s been advised by nutritionists working with her on the exciting journey ahead that she needs to simply lose about a pound a week and eat more protein. She doesn’t smoke and only drinks socially so following a healthier lifestyle isn’t a massive challenge.

“This has been a great journey of self-discovery and understanding what’s important to us. And the journey is only beginning. My only niggling fear is that I could have a baby that is not well and it might be blamed on my decision to have a baby late. But it’s a chance we’re willing to take.


“It has been stressful to consider that my body is not perfect for conceiving or carrying a baby. But I’m delighted to have a chance to consciously and proactively prepare myself,” Frances added.

Jani, who is 37, is a qualified and gifted chef and is originally from Finland. He works with Frances at Harmony Hall in Castlewarren.

“This is a journey we will take together. I have an open mind and I am looking forward to see how this unfolds. I have no fears. Everything has been explained to us and we are looking forward to the challenge,” he said.