Common name: Enuresis; urinary incontinence; involuntary urination
Bedwetting or enuresis refers to involuntary urination in children aged 5 years old and above. It is still considered a normal condition for children up to age 7 but if it persists beyond that, it is time to consult your pediatrician. It can be classified into two types: nocturnal (nighttime) and diurnal (daytime) enuresis. Nocturnal enuresis is more common among children.
Enuresis can be further classified as primary and secondary.
- Primary enuresis where a child never had nighttime control over urination.
- Secondary enuresis develops 6 months or even several years after a person has learned bladder control.
Possible Causes of Primary Enuresis (for children)
Poor daytime toilet habits.
The child does not wake up when his/her bladder is full.
The child is not yet able to hold urine for an entire night.
The child produces large amount of urine during the evening/night.
Psychological problems. Bedwetting is common among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as children going through traumatic or stressful situations.
Possible Causes of Secondary Enuresis (for teens and adults)
- Bladder problems.Some people have relatively small bladders that can't hold a large volume of urine.
- Hormonal problems. The antidiuretic hormone or ADH controls urination. If the body does not make enough ADH, the person may not have control over their bladder.
- Sleep problems. Some people sleep deeply that they cannot feel the urge to pee.
- Medical conditions such as urinary tract infection (UTI) or diabetes can trigger secondary enuresis.
- Psychological stress
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Antibiotics if the cause is UTI.
Treatment and Management
Treatment and Management Tips for Primary Enuresis in Children
Establish a regular toilet routine before bedtime.
Wake your child up during the night around the time he/she usually wets the bed and accompany him/her to the bathroom.
Limit beverages in the evening.
Be patient, understanding and attentive.
Do not discuss your child's bedwetting in front of others.
Treatment and Management Tips for Secondary Enuresis in Teens/Adults
- See a Doctor. Enuresis may be a symptom of another condition. It is better to consult a doctor to treat the underlying cause.
- Retrain your bladder to increase your bladder capacity.
- Empty your bladder completely before going to bed.
- Use nighttime protection such as adult diapers and waterproof your bedding by adding plastic to your bed.