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Castration (also known as orchiectomy) is any action, surgical, chemical, or otherwise, by which an individual loses use of the testicles: the male gonad. Surgical castration is bilateral orchidectomy (excision of both testes), and chemical castration uses pharmaceutical drugs to deactivate the testes. Castration causes sterilization (preventing the castrated person or animal from reproducing); it also greatly reduces the production of certain hormones, such as testosterone. Surgical castration in animals is often called neutering.