Bedwetting - what can it mean?

What is bedwetting?

Nocturnal enuresis, commonly called bedwetting is the term for child’s involuntary urination while asleep, when it is able to control its physiological functions during the day. Usually when the problem still occurs past the age of 5 it is considered a medical condition. If bedwetting happens less than 3 times a week we are dealing with primary nocturnal enuresis.

Whom may bedwetting concern?

Bedwetting is common in children, and apart from allergic based diseases it is the most common childhood chronic health issue. It is more common in boys than girls, and the problem may pass with age.


  • Primary enuresis – connected with child’s inborn ailments and disorders.
  • Secondary enuresis – reverting to night-time wetting after at least 6 months of staying dry.
  • Monosymptomatic – a single dysfunction.
  • Polysymptomatic – occurs with other symptoms such as bladder instability, urgency or polyuria.

What causes bedwetting?

Apart from general causes of childhood bedwetting this disorder may have the following background:

Bedwetting isn’t only a physiological issue. The child which experiences enuresis becomes more and more frustrated and doesn’t understand what is happening. The problem is more distressing as the child grows older. Sometimes even the parents can’t handle the problem. Mornings in families where there is a child who wets the bed are stressful and unpleasant. How to help it?

Diagnosis and treatment

Each child with urinary incontinence should be examined by a doctor. There are certain tests which need to be carried out in order to make a proper diagnosis. Maybe the bedwetting is caused by a curable ailment – after tackling such a health issue the unpleasant wet nights may become a thing of the past.

Usual examination carried out in order to make a diagnosis

The doctor should explain the reasons of bedwetting to the child and its parents. The doctor should also mention what can be done to treat the condition. It is very important that the child understands and accepts the suggested treatment. The better the child cooperates with its parents and the doctor, the better chance there is for limiting, or even eliminating bedwetting episodes.

What may the doctor suggest?

1. Non-pharmacological treatment

It is mainly based on bladder control training – first during the day and then during the night; the training may last up to a few weeks.

2. Pharmacological treatment

It may take up to a few months. The medicine selection is aimed at one of the following targets:

One can say that the treatment is successful if the number of wet nights has been decreased by 90%.

Learn what you can do to help your child here.

Read also

Causes of UI in children

Causes of UI in children

Children are reluctant to speak about their problem, they clam up, and the parents don’t really know how to handle the whole situation.

Advices for guardians

Advices for guardians

The older the child, the more embarrassing it is for him that his physiological functions don’t work the way they are supposed to.


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