Understanding Bedwetting

Jun 29, 2009
Bedwetting or enuresis is an involuntarily urination in children older than 5, characterized by an inability to maintain urinary control at night during sleep.

Causes of bedwetting

Bedwetting can be caused by:
  • urinary tract infection

  • developmental delay

  • urinary system abnormalities

  • immaturity

  • disorders of the nervous system

  • stress and psychological disturbances

It is considered that bedwetting is normal for a child younger than 5 and the condition does not require treatment before that age. The voluntary control of urination is usually formed by the age of five.

In most of cases, bedwetting in children is not a serious disease, but bedwetting incidents can negatively influence child's psychological state, as well as emotional state in a child's family.

Also bedwetting can lead to such complications, as urinary tract infections.

Bedwetting is most often related to delayed maturation of the nervous system. It happens when the brain does not receive the signal of the bladder overflow to empty the bladder. Sometimes, bedwetting is caused by psychological traumas, fears, or situations when a child underwent stressful events.

Emotional factor can also play its role in bedwetting. Stressful situation at home, for example, the birth of a new baby in a family, or a new step parent and conflicts in the family could also contribute to bedwetting.

Treatment of bedwetting

The treatment of bedwetting depends on its cause. One of the most important aspects of the treatment of bedwetting is to monitor a child's toilet routine and his rhythm of fluids consumption. A child with bedwetting should avoid drinking any fluids or eating fruits and vegetables one or two hours before going to sleep. Remind your child to visit the bathroom before bedtime.

The use of bedwetting alarms is considered to be quite effective. Bedwetting alarms help children stay dry at night by sensing moisture in the child's underpants during sleep. The underwear alarm responds to the signs of moisture and wakes the child to visit the bathroom.

Behavior therapy may be useful, if bedwetting is connected to emotional stress.

Medications such as Desmopressin and Imipramine are often prescribed to increase the amount of urine held in the bladder or decrease the amount of urine produced by the kidneys, may also work. Sometimes herbal treatment with plants, having a calming effect is used.