What is bedwetting?

Bedwetting, also called nocturnal enuresis, is the complaint of many parents. It refers to the involuntary urinary that occurs during sleep.

Bedwetting is different from nocturia, which is intentionally getting out of bed to pass urine at night and followed by sleep.

Nocturnal enuresis should also be distinguished from urgency incontinence (UI), which may occur during the night after being awakened to visit the toilet but having insufficient time to get to the bathroom to be able to.

How common is bedwetting?

This health condition is extremely common in young children. It has an estimated prevalence of nearly 10% in children aged 7. By the age 4, most children can control their bladder when they are awake. But it can take longer for them to have control over their bladder when they are asleep. However, in 2 to 3% of children it may persist into adulthood.

It is more common in boys than in girls and can run in families.

Bedwetting may also manifest later in life as a symptom of a traumatic disorder, especially in men.

It can also be related to relaxation of the pelvic floor during sleep in patients with a neobladder following cystoprostatectomy.

Please discuss with your doctor or nurse for further information if you are worried or have questions about your child’s condition.


What are the symptoms of bedwetting?

The common symptom of bedwetting is an involuntary urinary unaware loss of urine that occurs during sleep.

If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

Your doctor should be able to tell if your child’s bedwetting is caused by a medical problem or experience the following signs:

  • Feels the need to urinate more than usual
  • Is more thirsty than usual
  • Has a burning feeling when he or she urinates
  • Has to swell of the feet or ankles
  • Starts wetting the bed again after being dry for weeks or months.


What causes bedwetting?

Bedwetting is most likely to happen when:

  • A child’s bladder muscles develop more slowly than usual
  • A child’s bladder holds a smaller than normal amount of urine
  • A child’s body makes a lot of urine

Most of the time, bedwetting is not caused by the medical or emotional problem. In some cases, though, it is.

Bedwetting is also more common among children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Researchers don’t yet fully understand the relationship between bedwetting and ADHD which daytime enuresis is observed in most children.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for bedwetting?

There are many risk factors for your child’s bedwetting, such as:

For children:

  • Drink lots of water right before bedtime
  • Being so active in morning
  • Family history

In adults:

  • Experience some traumatic pelvic injuries potentially causing UI
  • Stress, fear, or insecurity
  • Neurological disorders (e.g.: post-stroke)
  • Diabetes
  • Prostate gland enlargement
  • Sleep apnea (abnormal pauses in breathing during sleep)
  • Constipation

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.


How is bedwetting diagnosed?

According to the name, the incidence is confirmed when the patient gets up in morning with a wet bed that was unaware contaminated.

How is bedwetting treated?

Bedwetting in children does not need any treatment because it can be managed by reducing risk factors by making plans to conquer bedwetting on their own. For any of plans made out to work, both you and your child must want the bedwetting to stop. Stopping bedwetting can be very hard to do and can take a long time.

Remember that children cannot help their bedwetting. You should never get mad at, punish, or tease your child for wetting the bed.

There are medicines doctors can prescribe to reduce bedwetting. But medicines are usually given to children older than 7 who hake already tried many other ways to stop bedwetting.

In adulthood, bedwetting without residual urine may be related to the overactive bladder. This can be treated with antimuscarinics and potentially with desmopressin in the melt formulation.

Patients with high-pressure urinary retention causing bedwetting are treated by initial catheterization to relieve the pressure, followed by appropriate assessment with a view to using endoscopic surgery to resect, to vaporize, or to enucleate the prostate, or open removal of the prostate.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage bedwetting?

To stop your child’s bedwetting you can try different things at home remedies:

  • Have your child urinate before going to bed. Remind him or her to wake up and use the toilet when needed.
  • Put night lights in the hall and bathroom so your child can find the toilet easily.
  • Stop using diapers or training pants at home, especially if your child older than 8. your child can still wear those items for overnight visits with family friends.
  • Have your child help with clean up in the morning. For example. He or she can take the wet sheet off the bed or help with laundry.
  • Keep a chart of your child’s progress and give rewards when your child stays dry. You and your child should agree on the rewards ahead of time.
  • Spread out your child’s drinks over the whole day. Do not have your child drink a lot right before bedtime.
  • Help your child teach his or her bladder to hold more urine. Have your child hold his or her urine for a longer period of time before urinating.
  • Use a night-time bedwetting alarm which is the best work in children ages 7 years older. Talk with your doctor about which type of alarm is best for your child and how to use it.

Other methods can also be carried out:

  • Use a waterproof sheet to protect the mattress and avoid urine odor.
  • Put a dry towel on the wet part of the bed.
  • Or you can make the bed in layer, alternating sheets with waterproof pads.
  • Re-make the bed whenever it gets wet again.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Review Date: February 19, 2017 | Last Modified: March 7, 2017

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