The Cap-Score Sperm Function Test (Cap-Score SFT), allows couples and their physicians to evaluate a critical part of sperm function – the sperm’s ability to capacitate. Capacitation is the process sperm must undergo to become able to fertilize an egg. When it comes to conception, your Cap-Score counts.
The Cap-Score SFT is a laboratory-developed test capable of determining whether sperm can actually fertilize an egg. Knowing and understanding their Cap-Score will help couples make informed decisions with their physicians about the fertility solution that is best suited for them.
Cap-Score: A More Complete Picture
The Cap-Score SFT is the missing component to a truly comprehensive semen analysis. Previously, physicians were only able to test sperm concentration, motility and morphology to determine a man’s fertility. The Cap-Score SFT measures sperm function and is the first test of its kind. It is designed to complement clinical evaluations of the male and female partners, including traditional semen analysis. By offering information specific to sperm function and fertilization potential, Cap-Score provides physicians and couples the information necessary to make more informed decisions about the best options for conceiving1,2.
The Cap-Score SFT can also assist in determining the success of vasectomy reversals and varicocele procedures that are conducted to restore fertility, as well as provide a mechanism for evaluating the effectiveness of supplements and other techniques used to boost fertility.
Cap-Score: Interpreting the Results
Cap-Score provides an assessment of the fertilizing ability of a man’s sperm over a fixed period of time. Exclusively a test of function, the Cap-Score SFT should not be the singular test administered and/or considered when evaluating the fertility status of the male partner. Studies demonstrate that, in general, men with Cap-Scores in the normal range have sperm that exhibit functional competency. Conversely, Cap-Scores in the abnormal range indicate a degree of potential infertility. For a couple who is seeking to understand their fertility, their physician will evaluate the man’s Cap-Score in conjunction with a semen analysis as well as a complete medical work-up inclusive of both the male and female partners. For example, a physician may have a different recommendation for two men with the same Cap-Score because of differing sperm counts and/or motilities. Each component plays a role and together can determine your total fertility.
The Cap-Score SFT provides an assessment of the fertilizing ability of the man’s sperm. The test provides an analysis of sperm on a molecular level to determine the percentage of sperm capable of undergoing capacitation. Cap-Score results should be interpreted in the context of a semen analysis as well as a complete medical work-up of both the male and female partners.
Cap-Score: Clarifying A Couple’s Choices
Studies highlight that couples in which the man has a normal Cap-Score may be recommended to continue or may be candidates for less invasive methods, such as an intrauterine insemination (IUI). Conversely, couples in which the man has an abnormal Cap-Score may be recommended, from the start, to pursue approaches such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), saving time and reducing stress.
When the physician knows a couple’s Cap-Score, the physician now has more information and a clearer understanding of what assisted reproductive techniques might best help that couple conceive.
Because many factors can impact sperm function, physicians may consider retesting in three months and/or in conjunction with a repeat semen analysis.
1Franken, DR, Oehninger, S, Semen Analysis and Sperm Function Testing, Asian J Androl. 2012 Jan; 14(1): 6–13. Published online 2011 Dec 19. doi: 10.1038/aja.2011.58
2Oehninger, Sergio; Franken, DR; Ombelet, Willem, Sperm functional tests, Fertility and Sterility, Vol 102, No. 6, December 2014, Pages 1528–1533 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25450304