What Are the Side Effects of Human Castration?

The side effects of human castration include the permanent loss of natural sexual function; changes in physical appearance, such as the loss of body hair and weight gain; changes in organs; and negative psychological effects, according to Medindia. As clinical treatment, human castration is used during some late-stage cancers.

The procedure is a controversial one in some cultures where it is used to punish sex offenders, states Medindia. In the United States, as of 2015, Texas permits surgical castration for repeat self offenders, and California and Florida permit chemical castration for such offenders, reports FindLaw. Chemical castration involves injecting a convicted sex offender with a drug that suppresses the sex drive, but its effects are completely reversible. These sentencing regulations are rarely implemented in these states.

Doctors also perform human castration to treat cancers of the testes or the prostate, a procedure that is much more common as a last-ditch treatment of the latter, reveals the Globe and Mail. The primary cause of the physical side effects of human castration is the drastic reduction of production of the hormone testosterone in the body, most of which takes place in the testes. Because testosterone fuels the growth of prostate cancer cells, castration is an option if other treatments have proven ineffective.