Primary Nocturnal Enuresis

What is Primary Nocturnal Enuresis?

Primary Nocturnal Enuresis, also known as bedwetting, is a condition in which a child is not able to wake up at night and take him/herself to the toilet on time. It is defined as two or more wetting episodes per week in children aged 5 and above for a period of at least 6 months. Although it is rarely discussed, it affects millions of children, and it can be a stressful experience for both the child and the parents. It is important to note that Primary Nocturnal Enuresis has little to do with the child’s bladder control or potty training and has much to do with a physiological challenge.


Experts suggest there is no single cause of enuresis, and that it likely occurs for several different reasons. It could be due to a combination of the following factors:

  • Genetics: Enuresis is known to run in families, so it is possible that it could be inherited from parents.
  • Immature Bed-wetting Alarm System: The alarm system of the brain, which should wake a person up upon detection of bladder fullness, may be still immature and as a result, the message might not be received.
  • Increased Urine Production at Night: In some cases, individuals may produce more urine at night, and due to the immaturity of the bladder, it may continue until morning.
  • Stress and Anxiety: Stress or anxiety can adversely affect some people and can lead to enuresis.

Treatment for Primary Nocturnal Enuresis

Since enuresis has no specific identified cause, treatments tend to be quite varied and may include:

  • Motivation and support: By offering positive reinforcement, parents can help the child stay motivated to stay dry.
  • Fluid restriction at night: Limiting Fluids prior to bedtime can reduce the chance of wetting at night.
  • Bed-wetting alarms: An alarm system that goes off when the bladder is full is sometimes used to help the individual wake up in time to go to bathroom.
  • Medication: Some medications may also be prescribed to help manage the condition.

It is important to note that for individuals suffering from enuresis, that there is help available. By identifying the underlying cause and making the necessary lifestyle changes, it is possible to overcome the condition and help the individual to become dry at night.