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Bed-wetting : Causes - Symptoms- Diagnosis -Treatment

What is Bed-wetting?

Bedwetting is the uncontrolled loss of bladder control during the night. Nocturnal enuresis is the medical term for this problem. In most cases, bedwetting is perfectly normal, but it can sometimes be uncomfortable.

Bedwetting is a common developmental stage for some children. However, it can also be a symptom of underlying illness or disease in adults. About 2 percent of adults experience bedwetting which may be due to a variety of reasons and may require treatment.

What is Bed-wetting?

  1. Urinary system

Medical terms

  • Bed-wetting, also called nocturnal enuresis or nighttime incontinence, is involuntary urination while asleep after the age when bladder control usually begins. Bed-wetting in children and adults can result in emotional stress. Bed-wetting that continues after age 7 can be frustrating and upsetting to the child. Although boys wet the bed more often than girls do, bed-wetting is considered normal in both boys and girls until age 5.

  • Bed-wetting, otherwise known as sleep enuresis, is defined as the involuntary leakage of urine during sleep. Though it is often thought of as a childhood problem, it can actually affect people of all ages. Bed-wetting can be a frustrating and embarrassing problem, but there are many ways to treat it. With the help of a medical professional, most people are able to find a method that works for them.

  • in Adults Although bed-wetting is not uncommon in children most children grow out of it However an estimated 10 to 15 percent of adults have symptoms consistent with bed-wetting (enuresis) For some people enuresis may be the result of a neurological disorder or physical illness For others there may be a psychological component to this condition Psychological conditions that can lead to enuresis include:

  • in Children Bed-wetting is a common occurrence among children Although many parents are worried when they discover their child still wets the bed after age 5 this behavior is normal and doesn't always mean your child has a problem In fact it's not unusual for children to continue wetting the bed until age 12 or 13. It may take several weeks to identify whether your child has a bed-wetting problem that needs treatment. Some parents decide it's not worth seeking medical attention if their child only wets the bed occasionally during periods of stress or illness. However , you should consult with your doctor if you notice.

  • Bed-wetting is also called nocturnal enuresis or nighttime incontinence It is involuntary urination while asleep after the age at which staying dry at night can be reasonably expected

  • Soggy sheets and pajamas are a familiar scene for many families But don't despair — bedwetting isn't always bad. It is often just a normal part of development.

Lifestyle changes to manage bedwetting

Lifestyle changes may help end bedwetting. For adults, limiting fluid intake can help control bedwetting. Try not to drink water or other liquids within a few hours of going to bed to reduce the risk of having an accident.

Drink enough fluids throughout the day but don't worry about drinking all of your daily water allotment before dinnertime. This will help to ensure that your bladder is relatively empty before bedtime. For children, limiting fluids before bedtime hasn't been shown to reliably decrease nighttime wetting.

Try not to drink caffeinated or alcoholic drinks in the evening. These drinks can be bladder irritants and diuretics, which will cause you to urinate more.

Peeing before bed can help you stay awake. Taking a bathroom break right before you go to bed can help too.

In children

Bedwetting can be caused by a stressful event in a young person's life. Conflicts at home or school may cause your child to have nightly accidents. Other examples of situations that can be stressful for children and may cause them to wet the bed include:

  • the birth of a sibling

  • moving to a new home

  • another change in routine

Talk to your child about how they are feeling. When you understand and communicate with them in a compassionate manner, it can often help stop bedwetting.

If your child has been dry at night for over 6 months and then starts wetting the bed again, it might not be due to a problem with bedwetting. You should talk to your child's doctor about any new bedwetting that doesn't resolve itself within a week or so or if it's accompanied by other symptoms.

Do not punish your child for bedwetting incidents. It is important to have open and honest conversations with them about this issue. reassuring them that it will stop eventually can be helpful.

It is also good to allow and encourage your child to take as much responsibility as they are able. For example, keep a dry towel by the bed in case they wake up wet.

Working together helps create a positive environment for your child.

If your child has bedwetting episodes that happen a few times a week, talk to your pediatrician. It is possible that the condition will stop by the time your child reaches puberty.

Symptoms Bed-wetting

Most kids square measure absolutely restroom trained by age five, however there is very no target date for developing complete bladder management. Between the ages of five and seven, enuresis remains a drag for a few kids. once seven years archaic, a little range of kids still wet the bed.

When to see a doctor

Most children will grow out of bed-wetting on their own Bed-wetting may be a sign of an underlying condition that needs medical attention

Consult your child's doctor if:

  • Your child still wets the bed after seven years of age

  • Your child starts to wet the bed after a few months of being dry at night

  • Bed-wetting is accompanied by painful urination, unusual thirst, pink or red urine, hard stools, or snoring

Causes Bed-wetting

There is no single cause of bedwetting Various factors may play a role

  • A small bladder.Your child may not have a fully developed bladder to hold urine produced during the night

  • Inability to recognize a full bladder.If the nerves that control the bladder are slow to mature a full bladder may not wake your child If your child sleeps deep remain calm but be prepared to wake him or her if you need to use the bathroom

  • A hormone imbalance.Some children produce too little ADH during childhood

  • Urinary tract infection.This infection can make it difficult for your child to control urination Symptoms may include waking at night to urinate frequent urination and urinary pain More severe symptoms may include excessive daytime bladder irritation and frequent accidents

  • Sleep apnea.Sometimes bed-wetting is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea a condition in which the child's breathing is interrupted during sleep - often due to inflamed or enlarged tonsils or adenoids Other signs and symptoms may include snoring and daytime drowsiness

  • Diabetes.Children who usually wet the bed may have diabetes Other signs and symptoms may include passing large amounts of urine at once increased thirst fatigue and weight loss despite a good appetite

  • Chronic constipation.When constipation is long term the same muscles are used to control urine and poop elimination When these muscles get dysfunctional and contribute to bedwetting at night it's not just a physical as it is a mental problem

  • A structural problem in the urinary tract or nervous systemIf bedwetting is related to a defect in the child’s neurology or urinary system it is unlikely that you will be able to treat the problem

Risk factors Bed-wetting

Bed-wetting affects boys and girls in the same proportions but it is more common in boys than it is in girls There are many causes of bed-wetting Several factors have been associated with an increased risk of bed-wetting including:

  • Stress and anxiety.Stressful events — such as becoming a big brother or sister starting a new school or sleeping away from home — may trigger bedwetting

  • Family history. If one or both of a child's parents wet the bed as children, their child has a significant chance of wetting the bed, too.

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Bed-wetting is more common in children who have ADHD.

Complications Bed-wetting

Although frustrating, enuresis while not a physical cause does not create any health risks. However, enuresis will produce some problems for your kid, including:

  • Loss of opportunities for social activities such as sleep- overs and camp

  • Guilt and embarrassment, which can lead to low self-esteem

  • If your child has a rash on his bottom and genital area it's likely that he sleeps in wet underwear

bed-wetting in adults

Bed-wetting in adults is also termed Nocturnal Enuresis It is a condition where a person urinates uncontrollably at night flooding their bed with urine This can be caused by different factors such as illness medications or drugs depression or stress If you are experiencing this issue it is important to see your doctor so that the cause of the nocturnal enuresis can be determined and treated if necessary The doctor will ask questions about your sleeping habits and medical history because some medications and illnesses may predispose us to bed-wetting while others need to be ruled out first with laboratory tests.

bed-wetting tends to occur during

: Children are ready to give up diapers during the period of toilet training they need to go through a learning process that teaches them how and when to use the bathroom Bed-wetting tends to occur during this time because their bodies have not learned how to "hold it" through the night If your child wets at night remind him that all children have accidents some time -- even adults do! The key is for your child not to become overly concerned about his accidents. While you should clean up any urine immediately, it's better if he can get back to sleep after an accident than start worrying about it.

bed-wetting treatment in child

Children who do not get an appropriate amount of sleep as well as those with underlying conditions such as urinary tract infection diabetes and neurological disorders are more likely to develop bed wetting Children with delayed potty training are also at a higher risk

Did you know that your child may be able to stop bed-wetting and go from diapers to underwear with the help of a single type of medication? If your child is over the age of five he or she might qualify for treatment.

Diagnosis Bed-wetting

Depending on the circumstances, your doctor could suggest the subsequent to spot any underlying reason behind urinary incontinence and facilitate confirm treatment:

  • Physical exam

  • Discuss symptoms fluid intake and family history of bowel and bladder problems Also discuss bed-wetting habits

  • Urine tests to check for signs of an infection or diabetes

  • X-rays or other imaging tests of the kidneys or bladder to look at the structure of the urinary tract

  • Other types of urinary tract tests or assessments, as needed

Treatment Bed-wetting

Most children outgrow bed-wetting on their own if treatment is not needed If you are a child and your doctor has recommended treatment discuss all the options and decide which will be best for you

This is a very difficult problem to resolve

If a child is found to be wetting the bed it is important to identify underlying causes before trying other treatment options

There are various options for treating bedwetting including alarms and medication

Moisture alarms

Small battery-operated devices that are available without a prescription at most pharmacies connect to moisture-sensitive pads on children’s pajamas or bedding When this pad senses wetness the alarm goes off

If your child is a heavy sleeper another person may need to wake the child in time for it to use the toilet Ideally however you should be able to hear the alarm going off as your child begins urinating — in time for them to get up and go to the bathroom

If you try a moisture alarm give it enough time It often takes one to three months for younger children to respond and up to 16 weeks for children who have relapsed These devices are not covered by insurance


If you suspect that your child is bedwetting (or wetting the bed) and your doctor hasn’t prescribed a solution you may consider taking certain types of medication Medications can be used as a last resort to stop bed-wetting:

  • Slow nighttime urine production.Desmopressin (DDAVP) reduces urine production at night and drinking too much liquid with it can cause problems The drug should be avoided if your child has symptoms such as a fever diarrhea or nausea Be sure to carefully follow the instructions for using this drug
    When we think someone is wrong we might want to try another way

  • Calm the bladder. If your child has a small bladder and an anticholinergic drug such as oxybutynin (Ditropan XL) may help reduce contractions of the bladder and increase bladder capacity This drug is usually used along with other medications and it is generally recommended when other therapies have failed It’s pretty hard to resolve a conflict

Sometimes the best treatment is a combination of medications There is no guarantee however that medication will be effective in stopping bed-wetting Bed-wetting typically resumes when medication is stopped until it resolves on its own as children grow older at different rates

Medical treatment for bedwetting

Bedwetting that is caused by a medical condition requires treatment beyond just lifestyle changes. Medications can treat a variety of conditions that bedwetting is a symptom of, such as urinary tract infections.

Antibiotics can eliminate UTIs.

Anticholinergic drugs can help to calm an irritated bladder.

Desmopressin acetate increases the activity of the hormone ADH to slow nighttime urine production.

Medications that block testosterone can reduce prostate gland swelling.

It is important to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and sleep apnea. If bedwetting is associated with underlying medical issues, it will likely resolve with proper management.

  1. Child medical and psychological care

Lifestyle and home remedies

Here are some changes you can make at home that may help:

  • Limit fluids in the evening. It is important to get enough fluids so your child will not have a need to limit how much water they drink in a day However encourage drinking liquids in the morning and early afternoon which may reduce their thirst later on But don't limit evening fluids if your child participates in sports practice or games in the evenings

  • Avoid beverages and foods with caffeine.Beverages with caffeine are discouraged for children during the day Caffeine may stimulate the bladder and be especially helpful in the evening

  • Encourage double voiding before bed. Double discharge is urinating at the start of the time of day routine then once more simply before falling asleep. inform your kid that it's okay to use the restroom throughout the night if required. Use tiny night lights, therefore your kid will simply realize the approach between the bedchamber and loo. 

  • Toilet use should be encouraged throughout the dayWhile your child is awake and at school suggest that he or she urinate every two hours or so or at least often enough to avoid a feeling of urgency

  • Prevent rashes.To prevent diaper rash help your child rinse his or her bottom every morning It may also help to cover the affected area with a protective moisture barrier ointment or cream at bedtime Ask your pediatrician for product recommendations

Alternative medicine

Some people may choose to try complementary or alternative medicine approaches to treat bed-wetting For approaches such as hypnosis acupuncture chiropractic therapy and herbal therapy evidence of effectiveness for bed-wetting is weak inconclusive or in some cases ineffective In some studies the size of the sample was too small or the study was not rigorous enough In other cases both weaknesses existed in the study

If you choose a nonconventional approach let the doctor know you are planning to use it Make sure it is safe for your child and that there are no interactions with any medications your child takes

Coping and support

Children do not wet the bed to irritate their parents Try to be patient as you and your child work through the problem together Effective treatment may include several strategies and takes time to be successful

  • Be sensitive to your child’s feelings

  • Plan for easy cleanup.To contain the urine cover the mattress with a plastic cover Use thick absorbent underwear at night to help contain the urine Keep extra bedding and pajamas handy so you can change them for your child as needed However avoid using diapers or disposable pull-up underwear because they don't allow for the natural elimination of waste from your toddler's body

  • Enlist your child's help.If your child is having bed-wetting problems consider asking him or her to rinse wet underwear and pajamas before he or she sleeps If this does not help ask your child to put the wet clothes in a specific container for washing Taking responsibility for bed-wetting may help your child feel more control over the situation

  • Celebrate effort. Bed-wetting is involuntary and it does not make sense to punish or tease the child for wetting bed Instead discourage siblings from teasing the child who wets the bed You can reward your child for following the routine cleaning up after accidents and discouraging others from teasing too by using a sticker system If this might motivate your child

Through reassurance and understanding your child looks forward to the dry nights ahead

Preparing for your appointment

You might start your search for a pediatrician by contacting the local pediatrician You may also be referred to a doctor who specializes in urinary disorders (pediatric urologist or pediatric nephrologist)

What you can do

Before your appointment, make a list of:

  • Any signs or symptoms, Include any major events that may seem unrelated to bed-wetting Consider keeping a diary of your child's bathroom visits and wet and dry nights Note when your child goes to the toilet and whether he or she felt like having a bowel movement Also note how much fluid your child drinks Especially after dinner it is best to drink water

  • Key personal information,Bringing any recent major stresses or life changes into a discussion may help to resolve conflicts

  • Any family historyIn children who wet the bed siblings or parents are also likely to be involved

  • All medications,Vitamins herbs and other supplements your child takes and the dosages

  • Questions to askContact your child's doctor so you can spend time together

Some basic questions to ask your doctor may include:

  • What's causing my child to wet the bed?

  • If a child is wetting the bed in the daytime he or she will probably outgrow it by age six

  • What treatment is available and which do you recommend? Are there any side effects?

  • Is there anything that you can suggest as an alternative to the primary approach that you just suggested?

  • Should my child follow any restrictions on drinking?

  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions Be ready to answer them before you leave the appointment so that you can go over any points that you want to discuss Your doctor may ask:

  • Has the child ever wet his bed?

  • Has your child always wet the bed or did it begin recently?

  • How often does your child wet the bed?

  • Are there periods of time when your child does not wet the bed?

  • Is your child dry during the day?

  • Is your child having stool accidents?

  • If your child complains of pain or other symptoms when urinating he/she may have a urinary tract infection

  • Are any major life changes or other stresses currently affecting your child?

  • If you're separated or divorced, does your child alternate living at each parent's home, and does the bed-wetting occur in both homes?

  • What is your reaction to your child's bed-wetting?


Most children stop wetting the bed by the age of 6. At this age, bladder control is more developed and can withstand a lot of changes. Successfully overcoming bedwetting can be helped by making lifestyle changes, receiving medical treatment, and having support from friends and family.

If bedwetting is a problem for you, there are some things that you can do to correct it on your own. However, if bedwetting has always been a problem for you and has recently become more severe, then you should see a doctor. Also, if you have never had bedwetting but it started developing in adulthood, see your doctor for an explanation.

General summary

  1. Bed-wetting (also called nocturnal enuresis) is the involuntary release of urine during sleep. Bed-wetting occurs more often in boys than girls and usually happens before the age of 5, though it can happen in older children as well. Bed-wetting can be upsetting and frustrating for both the child and the parent. If your child wet the bed, know that it’s not your fault and that there are things you can do to help.

  2. Bed-wetting, also called nighttime incontinence or nocturnal enuresis, is involuntary urination while asleep after the age when a person should be able to control his or her bladder. Though bed-wetting can be a problem for people of any age, it is most common in children who are still developing bladder control and in older adults with incontinence problems. Bed-wetting can happen occasionally or nightly.  It can also be a sign of an underlying medical problem.

  3. Learning that your child wets the bed can feel overwhelming. You likely have many questions, such as “Is this normal?”, “Why is this happening?”, and “What can I do to help my child?”

  4. n children Bed-wetting is the involuntary passage of urine while sleeping most commonly observed in young children Although it's common and not considered a problem when kids are very young it can be an issue for them as they get older Bed-wetting may be caused by stress or anxiety among children who feel nervous about going to school Sometimes bed-wetting stops on its own after baby hits a certain age but if it continues parents should consult a doctor.

Bed-wetting : Causes - Symptoms- Diagnosis -Treatment

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