November 23, 2014
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Bladder (Overactive)

 Health Home >> Bladder (Overactive) >> Related conditions 

Bedwetting

(Enuresis, Bed Wetting)

The Facts on Bedwetting

Bedwetting is common for children, affecting more boys than girls. The condition occurs in 30% of children at the age of 4, 10% at the age of 6, and drops to 1% by the age of 18. Although children develop bladder control at different rates, most boys can control their bladder during the day and night by the age of 6, and most girls by the age of 5. When a child who is old enough to have bladder control urinates accidentally while sleeping, it's called nocturnal enuresis.

Bedwetting true or false
How much do you know about bedwetting?

 1   2   3   4   5   6  



TRUE      FALSE

Results

Your score: /6


Find out the true and false in the article

Bedwetting true or false quiz


Read also:

The reason for soggy nights

Bedwetting's toll on your child


Learn more about bedwetting in the
Bedwetting channel


< Start over

sponsored by   GoodNites - Bedwetting underwear

Causes of Bedwetting

There are two main types of nocturnal enuresis: primary and secondary. The primary type is a condition where a child still wets the bed after age 5 or 6. It's often hereditary. The secondary type occurs when a child who had stopped bedwetting for at least six months starts again, often due to emotional stress or a medical condition.

Possible causes of primary nocturnal enuresis include the following:

  • delay in maturation of bladder control
  • genetics - children with parents who also wet the bed beyond age five are at an increased risk for bedwetting
  • sleeping deeply - this may make children less aware of cues for the need to urinate

Rare possible causes include the following:

  • problems with antidiuretic hormone (ADH), a hormone that causes the body to retain water - Normally, ADH levels increase at night to decrease the amount of urine produced. However, children with enuresis do not have increased ADH levels at night, causing greater urine production, which can lead to wetting.
  • minor nerve damage - this may decrease a child's ability to sense a full bladder

Although it is often said that emotional stress causes primary nocturnal enuresis, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim. However, bedwetting itself may lead to feelings of shame and lowered self-esteem.

Causes of secondary nocturnal enuresis include the following:

  • emotional stress (e.g., birth of a sibling, significant loss, family discord)
  • urinary tract infection
  • diabetes mellitus (rarely)




Symptoms and Complications of Bedwetting

For sleeping children who are old enough to control their bladders, the symptoms of bedwetting are obvious. Regularly finding urine-soaked sheets is a clear sign of the problem. Also, a child may wake and cry during the night when the wetting occurs, or wake up caregivers to alert them.

The most common complication of bedwetting is the impact on self-esteem and the emotional distress it causes children. Assuring children that the occurrences are accidental (and not blaming the condition on them) is key to managing the psychological effects. Many children who wet the bed may fear staying overnight at a friend's house in case they wet the bed there.

Continued... 1 | 2 | Next

Ad

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.

© 1996 - 2014 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.