The Mosie Cup is here at long last, and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s been a passion project for me since our inception in 2015, but more pressing issues always took precedence and budget. As the family “sperm donor” and company co-founder the sample cup plays an important role not only functionally, but psychologically.
My history with sample cups for sperm goes back to 2013, two years before my wife Maureen and I would officially start Mosie Baby. I was handed an anonymous brown paper bag with a sample cup inside by our fertility doctor. We’d been unsuccessfully trying to conceive for over two years and received a diagnosis of “unexplained infertility”. This meant nothing was technically “wrong” with us, we just couldn’t conceive. Our IUI was scheduled for the following week. I was instructed to “generate” a sperm sample into the cup. My sperm would then be taken from the cup, washed, and placed inside my wife's uterus. The goal of course was conception. We both resented being in this position. If there’s nothing wrong then why are we spending $3K on this procedure?
The bag sat on my nightstand for a week. My wife was going to ovulate on Saturday and that morning the IUI would take place. This meant paying a little extra, but we'd come this far right? The big day arrived. It was early morning, and we were predictably stressed. We argued as Maureen dressed for a walk to allow me privacy. Both of us pissed it’d come to this, but hopeful it just might be the answer we’d been seeking. She left for her walk, and I was left to my own devices. Time to open the paper bag and do my thing.
I took out the cup. I was surprised. It was one of those urine sample cups with the blue lid you get when they test your urine. I became unexpectedly intimidated. That was a LOT more cup than was necessary. Based on my history, my sample wasn’t going to make a dent in that cup. But the clock was ticking. We needed to drive across town to deliver the sample in 30 minutes. It took way too long, but I finally generated a sample, and it looked miniscule in that cup. As we drove to the clinic I cynically told Maureen that my sample was pathetic and we were wasting our time. $3K down the drain.
Thankfully I was wrong about the sample. It worked. We conceived, and after two years of trying Maureen was pregnant with a baby girl. But that awful morning and that cup never left my mind. The end? Not quite.
One good thing about our infertility journey is that it led us to start Mosie Baby. As much as we’d appreciated the results of our IUI and the wonderful people that made it happen, we wanted an option we could try at home before betting big on clinical procedures, like IUI and IVF. The Mosie Kit is that option. In fact we conceived our son with the prototype so we knew we were onto something.
Fast forward to 2023, Mosie Baby is eight years old with over 100K kits sold and thousands of babies made, and we’re about to release the 2.0 version of the Mosie Kit. It’s amazing, and one of the biggest new features is the introduction of the Mosie Cup. A new cup designed from the ground up specifically for sperm collection. It’s beautiful, functional and for me it’s personal.
From day one of starting Mosie Baby, we planned to introduce our own cup. I’d always envisioned our perfect sperm cup to feature a rounded bottom allowing the sample to gather in one place. Up to now we’d used a generic cup. It was better than the urine cup from a size perspective and ticked a lot of boxes, but it wasn’t perfect. It had the same flat bottom making it difficult to reach sperm in the corners, and some customers found its small size difficult to handle. Unfortunately we quickly realized that manufacturing a product from scratch is really expensive, and we simply didn’t have the money to manufacture two products.
We’d taken a loan out on our house to start this company, and the syringe was the clear star of the show. We knew the minute we tried a regular syringe that there was a clinical need that hadn’t been met. I came home from a run and mentioned to Maureen that someone should make a syringe specifically for insemination. Ten minutes later Maureen had drawn a rough sketch on a napkin of what she thought an insemination syringe should be. Then we did some soul searching and made some serious decisions that would change our lives forever. We were going to formally introduce the world to insemination at home. Development of the Mosie syringe took over a year with multiple iterations, input from a medical device engineer, a patent attorney, and our own fertility doctor. We finally landed on the perfect syringe for insemination at home. And to Maureen’s credit, it didn’t deviate far from her original drawing. The cup would have to wait.
Looking back, the benefit of delaying the cup has been refinement after refinement of the design. As with the syringe we printed and tested multiple iterations and ultimately landed at the Mosie Cup you see today. Like the syringe it is rigorously tested and manufactured in the United States. It’s the yin to the syringe’s yang. They complement each other perfectly and make the home insemination process more intuitive than it’s ever been up to this point.
It’s like a cup within a cup, doing double duty. The inner receptacle is rounded at the base allowing the sperm to gather into one place not only making absorption easier, but for those of us generating the sample, it feels more natural. The cup's non-tip outer wall keeps it stable allowing it to reliably sit on any flat surface even with the rounded inner. Very important when spilling is not an option. It’s also a bit taller and easier to handle, and the lid has a seal that stays closed in the event the sample needs to travel.
Yes, we’ve come a long way from the urine cup I anxiously generated a sample in 2014. The best part of course will always be the future families that this cup plays a small role in helping.