Capability test: what it is and why it is done

Capability test: what it is and why it is done
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Capability test: what it is and why it is done

There are some tests that the couple must undergo when, after a period of targeted attempts, they are unable to conceive. Do analysis e test it can be tiring and yet it is necessary, because it helps to identify the cause of the failure to conceive. Today we talk about the capacitance test, which exclusively concerns man.

In this article

Male infertility

In absence of diseases or problems known from the beginning, only exams will be able to reveal (and unfortunately not always) the reason for infertility. It was once thought that it only concerned the woman, but we know that it is not: sometimes there difficulty conceiving get by man. The causes? Absence of spermatozoa, poor motility or malformation of the same, the reasons can be different and, usually, they can be identified thanks to spermiogram and spermioculture, the basic exams that are used to analyze the seminal fluid. Sometimes, however, this examination is deepened through a subsequent phase: the capacitance test.

Read also: Varicocele and micropolicistic ovary: the story of our love fulfilled

What is the ability test

The name anticipates it: col capacitance test the sperm capacity of to survive inside thefemale genital system, get ahead and fertilize. In practice, the very modifications that the spermatozoon undergoes are reproduced once it begins its journey towards the ovaries, through the fallopian tubes. 

The capacitance test is therefore the final step of the sperm maturation, which after ejaculation must change in order to come into contact with the woman's reproductive system. 

What is the ability test for?

Il capacitance test serves to understand how the spermatozoa they behave and change when, once ejaculate, come into contact with the vaginal mucus and, more generally, the environment of the female reproductive system. It will thus be possible to understand what kind of medically assisted procreation it will be better to undertake in order to have a better chance of conception. It is in fact an examination that is carried out following the spermiogram and on the basis of the results found. 

How the ability test works

The laboratories, to carry out the capacitance test, use two approaches: lo SWIM-UP, that is a technique that allows to separate the spermatozoa from seminal fluid according to their motility, or centrifugation on a gradient of density, which instead allows their separation by density. 

In this way, the spermatozoa are divided between "good" and "not good" in terms of quality

How to interpret the results of the skills test

According to test resultsthen, it will be decided which MAP technique to direct the patient, always taking into account the condition of the woman. When the spermatozoa respond well to the test, an IUI can be attempted, an intrauterine insemination, while if this does not happen it will be necessary to opt for other medically assisted procreation techniques such as IVF and ICSI. 

However, the results must be interpreted by a physician. In general, the first data is that of sperm count. Then you evaluate them motility, which may have rapid, non-straight progression or none. Finally we consider the morphology, hence their "normal" form. All data is interpreted as a percentage. 

At the end of the test, it is usually reported whether or not the sample is suitable for WFP. Then it will be the specialist, based on the general condition of the couple and any other visits made by the man, to evaluate the best path.

How to prepare for the skills test

The rules for prepare for the skills test they are practically the same as those for the spermiogram. The sample is usually collected in the laboratory, via masturbation, but can also be produced at home. It must be deposited in a sterile jar and, if it is not produced in the laboratory, it must be transported there as soon as possible, making sure that it does not undergo significant changes in temperature. In any case, each laboratory gives very specific indications, in particular it is recommended to refrain from sexual intercourse and from masturbation for 3-5 days.

The ability test is a useful exam to understand how children behave spermatozoa once ejaculated in the female reproductive system, when there are problems a conceive and you have to choose the right one PMA technique to submit to the couple to have a baby.


Pathologies of spermatozoa 

WHO Laboratory Manual for Semen Examination 

Updated on 09.11.2022

  • infertility
  • infertility exams
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