Nocturnal Enuresis

Nocturnal Enuresis (Bedwetting): Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Nocturnal enuresis, commonly known as bedwetting, is a sleep disorder where a person involuntarily urinates while asleep after the age at which bladder control usually begins. It is more common in children and often goes away on its own with time. People over the age of 18 may still need treatment for enuresis.

Enuresis is caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, bladder or urinary tract infection, or disruption of the normal sleep pattern. The medical term for bedwetting is “nocturnal enuresis.”

Symptoms of Enuresis

Some of the most common symptoms of enuresis include:

  • Frequent nighttime urination, or wetting the bed at night
  • Frequent daytime accidents
  • Feeling of urgency during the day
  • Nocturnal wetting of clothing, sheets, and mattresses

Causes of Enuresis

Enuresis is usually the result of a combination of physical and psychological factors, such as:

  • A small bladder
  • Overactive bladder muscles or an increase in nighttime urine production
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • A family history of bedwetting
  • Stress, anxiety, or tension
  • Sleep apnea
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Diabetes
  • Constipation
  • Sleep deprivation

Treatments for Enuresis

The treatment for enuresis depends on the underlying cause. Here are some treatments that may be used:

  • Bladder training and exercises
  • Medications, such as desmopressin (DDAVP) to reduce urine production
  • Medications to reduce muscle spasms in the bladder
  • Behavioral interventions, such as rewards for not wetting the bed
  • Surgery, such as removal of the prostate or bladder enlargement
  • Using diapers or pads to absorb urine

It is important to talk to your doctor before starting any treatment for enuresis. While it can be a difficult condition to manage, there are treatments that can help.