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Enuresis or bedwetting Overview

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Enuresis or bed wetting Overview

Enuresis is an inability to control urination especially in children. This behavior may or may not be purposeful.

Enuresis is classified into three types

  • Nocturnal enuresis : Nocturnal enuresis is also called bed wetting and it is the most common type of elimination disorder. (Urine is passed in night time)
  • Diurnal enuresis : Daytime wetting is called diurnal enuresis. (Urine is passed in night time)
  • Mixed enuresis : Mixed enuresis is combination of both Nocturnal enuresis and diurnal enuresis.

Enuresis is further classified into another two types depends on the condition of child

  • Primary enuresis : In this condition where child was not successfully trained to control urination.
  • Secondary enuresis : In this condition where child was successfully trained to control urination, but revert to wetting due to some sort of stressful situation.
    • Where in the first case it is represented as fixation and in the second case it is represented as regression.


  • Causes of enuresis is specifically unknown some reasons behind that are
    • Slower physical development in children (May be due to small bladder capacity and un development of body alarms in body)
    • Hormone responsible for making urine slower are antidiuretic hormone or ADH. So in the condition if body does not produce enough ADH during night time result in lessening the slow down of urine which leads to filling of bladder, if the child does not feel sense wetting will occur.
    • May be due to anxiety
    • Genetics
    • Obstructive sleep apnea
    • Structural problems : In many cases of incontinence due to problems in urinary system which is called urinary reflux or vesicoureteral reflux.


  • Physical exams are done to find out incontinence
  • Chronological age is at least 5 years of age
  • voluntary or involuntary repeated voiding of urine into bed or clothes
  • Lab tests may also be performed, such as a urinalysis and blood work to measure blood sugar, hormones, and kidney function.
  • If no physical cause is found, Doctor will base a diagnosis of enuresis on the child’s symptoms and current behaviors.


  • Using an alarm system that rings when the bed gets wet can help the child learn to respond to bladder sensations at night.
  • Urinating on a schedule, such as every 2 hour and avoid caffeine or other foods or drinks that may contribute to a child’s incontinence.

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