Your Path to Pregnancy: Q&A with Arielle Spiegel, Founder and CEO of CoFertility

Your Path to Pregnancy is an interview series highlighting conception stories from real couples, brought to you by Beli Vitality for Men, a male prenatal for optimum fertility. We spoke to Arielle about the importance of taking reproductive health into our own hands, and finding joy in pregnancy after fertility treatment.

We’re big fans of CoFertility, your site that provides answers to questions from real people who are trying to conceive. We feel such a kinship with your mission of helping every couple on their unique fertility journey. What led you to create the site?

I went on a 2.5 year long journey to get pregnant. While experiencing infertility, I had tons of questions, and I’d ask everyone—doctors, nurses, technicians, friends, family—basically, anyone who would listen. Especially because my diagnosis was relatively unexplained, I had an insatiable appetite for knowledge and wanted to soak it up like a sponge.

At the time, I was fortunate enough to live in New York City with access to amazing resources and a team of nationally-recognized experts handling my care. But when their answers weren’t enough, when I still had—gasp!—more questions, guess where I turned? Yep, I sought answers on the internet. 

When I looked online, I found some useful information. But as someone with a brand marketing background, I felt that the 1 in 8 American couples facing fertility challenges deserved a better experience of getting information online. As a member of this club, I knew what was missing—a helpful, educational resource to quickly answer specific fertility questions, with a dose of keep-it-real personality. CoFertility was born. 

Of those 1 in 8 couples, one third of fertility troubles are attributed to male factors. Women can find loads of recommendations for nutrition and rest and healthy movement, but there are far fewer prenatal wellness resources for men. Do you hear from men who are experiencing infertility?

Definitely. At CoFertility, we hear from a lot of people looking for content that pertains to male factor infertility. Everything on our site is inspired by actual real-world questions people have about infertility. Do Male Fertility Supplements Actually Work? What’s It Like to Get a Semen Analysis for Infertility? 

We also don’t just cover infertility. We strive to cover as many fertility questions as we can in a trustworthy way, including longer-term information about reproductive health. 

Love that. We’re invested in the idea that fertility wellness should be seen more holistically; less as a set of fires to be put out, and more as an illuminating piece of the overall health picture. 

Taking charge of your own fertility health is very empowering. Our site makes it easy to find information about treatments, understanding insurance coverage, finding clinics nearby, and applying for financial grants for treatment. 

Even in normal times, there are access barriers to reproductive healthcare. At-home access to fertility resources is crucial.

We did a study about barriers to infertility treatment which showed that, of people who have undergone fertility treatment or who are currently undergoing fertility treatment, 86% of them have forgone, or would forgo, treatment recommended to them by their doctors due to cost. 

Geography can also be a barrier. It’s comparable to the idea of food deserts in lower income communities, where there isn’t nearby access to fresh food. There are fertility treatment deserts, too. Some people live two hours away from the closest clinic, and that’s a huge barrier. 

This time of pandemic and quarantine is underscoring the way folks need to take their health into their own hands. Have you noticed an increase in couples looking for ways to increase their fertility at home?

Yes. We’ve seen an uptick in people wondering what they can do for their own fertility at home. Whether that’s finding the right supplements, home fertility testing, home hormonal testing, or at-home insemination. People are motivated to improve their own health. I think that effort to regain a sense of control over our own fertility healthcare will continue, even as fertility clinics are opening back up.

Congratulations on your pregnancy, by the way!

Thanks! I’m 34 weeks pregnant now, and things have been good and healthy so far.

Did anything surprise you about becoming pregnant?

I think I knew when I got pregnant, because I’ve experienced several losses in the past, that I would be a highly anxious pregnant person. So it wasn’t surprising to me that I was indeed anxious.

I was surprised when I realized I was ready to actually embrace the pregnancy! Once I had a feeling that things would be okay, I felt able to do normal pregnancy things. And I surprised myself by being able to experience them. I can breathe and not be intensely anxious all the time.

In the beginning I struggled with sharing the pregnancy. My whole identity is really invested in the fertility community and my own infertility journey. Before we told anyone outside of our friends and family, I was a little worried about how it would be received by the infertility community when I shared that I was pregnant. But everyone was so supportive. People experiencing infertility get excited when one of their own gets pregnant.

Despite my current pregnancy, I know that I’ll always feel connected to the fertility community. Infertility changes you in an irreversible way. Just because I am pregnant now doesn’t mean I no longer feel that our current education system does a terrible job preparing us for when we do try to conceive. In fact, it’s the opposite—I actually feel an even stronger personal responsibility to improve access to information to make this process suck less. Knowledge is power, and we need more of it when it comes to our fertility.

Additional Resources

It’s 2022, and CBD has officially arrived. But what does it mean for couples, and specifically men, trying to conceive? Does CBD have an impact on male fertility? Here’s what the most current research says, and what you should keep in mind about CBD products if a baby is the plan.

Read More

Research shows that the overall health of both biological parents during the preconception window plays a huge role in everything from conception to pregnancy health to the lifetime health of their baby. Luckily, there are simple steps you can both take to improve your health together.

Read More

The decision to add another baby to the family is thrilling. But what happens if trying for baby number two or three isn’t as easy as it was the first time around? Unsurprisingly, secondary infertility can feel like a slap in the face, but understanding more about the issue is always empowering.

Read More

You know that vitamin D is one of those essential nutrients we need to be healthy, and you probably know it’s a key player during pregnancy, too. But did you know that vitamin D may directly influence fertility?

Read More

If you have endometriosis, you can already recite its lengthy list of pretty terrible symptoms. And the standard options for managing those symptoms — medications, hormone therapy, hormonal birth control, estrogen blockers, surgery —  aren’t always great. But there is evidence that a so-called “endometriosis diet” can help.

Read More

These days, men’s prenatal vitamins are part of the fertility and conception conversation — and they should be. Sperm health plays a big role in everything from conception to the health of future generations. But how did we get here? This is the story of Beli Vitality, the men’s prenatal vitamin that started it all.

Read More

"Infertility problems aren’t just all about the woman- it’s about the men too! Beli for men does a great job with taking all of the vitamins and supplements needed and wraps them up into one pill, which is very convenient for him. It has everything from Vitamin C, D, E, B6, B12, Zinc, and more to help increase sperm quality and count!"

Read More

Way back in 2007, a study found that following a “fertility diet” was associated with a lower risk of ovulatory disorder infertility and other causes of infertility. Fast forward more than a decade and science once again confirms that a healthy diet can definitely boost fertility.

Read More

There are a few things you can try to get pregnant faster, but they won’t work for everyone. Still, in the interest of positive thinking, we did some digging and came up with 5 obvious and not-so-obvious tips for getting pregnant faster.

Read More

Fertility nutrition is absolutely in your control, so yes, men should take prenatal vitamins if they're trying to have a baby. But if you’re not entirely sold just yet, let’s see what else the science says.

Read More

Is there anything unsexier than scheduled, pressure-ridden, trying-like-hell-to-conceive sex? But good news. We’ve found handy workarounds and tricks of the trade, so forget the basal temperature chart for a second and read on for four ways to keep things hot when you’re TTC.

Read More

The quality of a man’s sperm is measured a few different ways, but spoiler — motility is critical. Read on for a deep dive into this aspect of sperm quality, plus details on how to improve sperm motility.

Read More

There’s an entire body of evidence proving that regular exercise improves sperm quality. And since sperm quality plays a critical role not only in conception, but the health of the placenta and the lifelong health of your future baby, well, that’s pretty compelling motivation for a serious gym habit.

Read More

There is evidence that women on the Pill have lower nutrient levels than those who don’t, and it’s a shortfall that can stick around. Here’s why you really should take prenatal vitamins while you're on birth control, and definitely afterward if you’re trying for a baby.

Read More

Recent studies have shown that optimal nutrition can improve egg quality. Fueling for fertility with nutrients that support egg quality can help raise your chances of getting pregnant faster and delivering a healthy baby.

Read More

Most births occur between June and early November. Count back nine months, and you’ll see that places most conceptions in the fall and winter. So what’s the deal? Is it the cold weather. all the festivities, or something else driving us between the sheets?

Read More

PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in women, but having it doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant. Supplementing with ingredients proven to support women with PCOS can help increase your chances, and so can speaking with your doctor and dietician.

Read More

We were honored for the opportunity to sit down with Mother Magazine and talk all things, babies, miscarriages and of course prenatal health! Big thanks to everyone at Mother Magazine for supporting us on our mission to educate on the importance of men and women taking an active role in improving their fertility health.

Read More

The Picky Eater reviewed Beli prenatals, and we'll cut right to the chase — they call Beli a great option for any couple looking to improve their chances of conceiving, improve sperm and egg quality, or for support throughout a pregnancy.

Read More

"Infertility problems aren’t just all about the woman- it’s about the men too! Beli for men does a great job with taking all of the vitamins and supplements needed and wraps them up into one pill, which is very convenient for him. It has everything from Vitamin C, D, E, B6, B12, Zinc, and more to help increase sperm quality and count!"

Read More