Bedwetting

Overview

Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis or nighttime incontinence, is involuntary urination while sleeping. Children often wet the bed until around age 5, since nighttime bladder control may still be developing. Bedwetting is one of the most common urological issues, and it is usually caused by a developmental delay. Although bedwetting can be frustrating, it usually goes away on its own or can be managed with bladder training, moisture alarms, and medications.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Bedwetting is involuntary urination during sleep. Children who wet the bed may sometimes develop a rash due to sleeping in wet clothing.Bedwetting is called “primary” when a child has not yet completely gained control of bladder function. “Secondary” bedwetting is when a child or adult wets the bed after having stayed dry for an extended period of time.Bedwetting does not pose any health risks unless it is associated with another medical condition. An underlying medical condition should be considered ifbedwetting is accompanied by pain or burning, cloudy or pink urine, daytime and nighttime wetting, or poor bowel control.

If a parent notices a child wetting the bed, doctors can perform a physical exam and a urine test to rule out infection or diabetes. X-rays or other imaging tests may be done if structural problems with the urinary tract are suspected.

Causes

Bedwetting can be caused by a small bladder, an inability to recognize when the bladder is full, or a hormone imbalance. Stress can also trigger bedwetting. Occasionally, bedwetting can be a sign of another medical condition, such as a urinary tract infection, sleep apnea, diabetes, constipation, or structural issues with the urinary tract. Bedwetting is more common in boys, tends to run in families, and is also more common in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Continue reading for Prevention and Treatment Information . . .

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