Enuresis (bedwetting)

Pelvis | Paediatrics | Enuresis (bedwetting) (Disease)


Urinary incontinence (enuresis) is the medical term for bedwetting.

Causes and Risk factors

Incontinence is accidental or intentional urination in children who are at an age where they should be able to have control of their bladders. Girls usually obtain bladder control before boys do.

More rarely bed-wetting may be a sign of other disorders such as: urinary tract infection (bladder infection), diabetes, chronic constipation, and an abnormal bladder or urinary tract. It occurs in about 10% of children over 5. Children who have had urination control initially then develop the disorder may be suffering from life stressors.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Incontinence may be diagnosed in girls older than age 5 and in boys who are older than age 6 who are still having urinary control problems. There are different types of bedwetting that may occur, including the following:

(1) Diurnal enuresis (wetting during the day)

(2) Nocturnal enuresis (during the night)

(3) Primary enuresis (occurs when the child has never fully mastered toilet training)

(4) Secondary enuresis (occurs when the child did have a period of dryness, but then returned to having periods of incontinence)

With reassurance and training it usually resolves on its own. Most urinary incontinence fades away naturally. Here are examples of what can happen over time: bladder capacity increases, natural body alarms become activated, an overactive bladder settles down, production of ADH becomes normal, the child learns to respond to the bodys signal that it is time to void, stressful events or periods pass.

Many children overcome incontinence naturally (without treatment) as they grow older. The number of cases of incontinence goes down by 15 percent for each year after the age of 5. ...