introduction: the sperm capacitation test and the spermicidal activity or immobilization using plant extracts, allows for an increase in the current knowledge on the reproductive area. objectives: to evaluate the effect of five extracts from colombian plants bocconia frutescens, bomarea setaceas, muehlenbeckia platyclada, zanthoxylum lenticulare and piper subpedale on human spermatozoa. methods: human spermatozoa were incubated with each extract and their motility and viability were evaluated. additionally, sperm capacitation was evaluated using bovine serum albumin. results: after an initial assessment of the effect of plant extracts on human spermatozoa, the extracts from b. frutescens and b. setaceas were selected for capacitating tests since they did not change the sperm motility and viability. additionally, m. platyclada, z. lenticulare and p. subpedale extracts were selected for immobilization or spermicidal activities tests because they had had an effect on sperm progressive motility. conclusions: this study suggested three plants with promising spermicidal effect; in addition to the standardization of a biological system, allowing the assessment of the capacitation effect of some extracts over human spermatozoa.