Bed wetting


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Category : Urinary System

Bed wetting is involuntary urination while asleep even after the age at which bladder control would normally be anticipated. The medical term for this condition is “nocturnal enuresis.”  This is of two types –

(a) Primary nocturnal enuresis (PNE) is when a child has not yet stayed dry on a regular basis.

(b) Secondary nocturnal enuresis (SNE) is when a child or adult begins wetting again after having stayed dry.

Bed wetting is the most common pediatric-health issue. Studies show that parents become worried too quickly because they expect children to stay dry too early. Most girls can stay dry by age six and most boys stay dry by age seven. By ten years old, 95% of children are dry at night. Normally adult bed wetting rates are between 0.5% to 2.5%.

Most bed wetting is a developmental delay, not an emotional problem or physical illness. Only a small percentage (5% to 10%) of bed wetting cases are caused by specific medical situations. Bed wetting is frequently associated with a family history of the condition.

Treatment ranges from behavioral-based options such as bed wetting alarms, to medication such as hormone replacement, and even surgery such as urethral enlargement. Since most bed wetting is simply a developmental delay, most treatment plans aim to protect or improve self-esteem. Bed wetting children and adults can suffer emotional stress or psychological injury if they feel ashamed by the condition. Treatment guidelines recommend that the physician counsel the parents, warning about psychological damage caused by pressure, shaming, or punishment for condition children cannot control.


  • Neurological Developmental Delay
  • Genetics
  • Infection/Disease
  • Physical abnormalities
  • Insufficient anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) production
  • Psychological
  • Constipation
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Severe Neurological-developmental issues
  • Disturbed Sleep
  • Very Heavy Sleeping
  • Stress
  • Food allergies
  • Improper toilet routine
  • Diabetes

Affects of Bedwetting

  • Psychological-Social Impact
  • Impact on Self-esteem
  • Behavioural Impact
  • Punishment for bedwetting
  • Impact on families

Suggestions and management

There are numerous options for treatment and management of bedwetting. However, Urologists and Pediatrics normally do not recommend any treatment till the age of 7 years. Bedwetting alarms have been found useful in bedwetting, because at the sense of moisture these alarms go up.  Taking tablets for artificial secretion of anti-diuretic hormone which reduces the urine production at night has also been found very effective. The prolonged use of supplements recommended below has been found effective in increasing the secretion of anti-diuretic hormones and thereby providing a permanent relief in bedwetting.

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