What is Bedwetting?
When loss of bladder control results in urination while a person is asleep, it is called bedwetting. Medical term for bedwetting is Nocturnal enuresis. Another name for bedwetting is night time incontinence.
Bedwetting is normal among kids of age 7 or less than 7. However, if the issue continues to exist even at an older age, there might be an underlying reason for it. Bedwetting can lead to uncomfortable situations and affect the quality of life. Thus, it is better to get it diagnosed and treated timely.
What Are the Symptoms of Bedwetting?
Following are the symptoms of bedwetting:
- Wetting the bed
- Wetting the bed at least twice a week for almost 3 to 4 months
- Urinating frequently to the point that it is noticeable
- Burning sensation while urination
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What Are the Causes of Bedwetting?
The causes of bedwetting vary depending on the underlying conditions. Bedwetting can be categorised into two types:
- Primary bedwetting:
If a child urinates while sleeping it is referred to as primary bedwetting. Some common causes of primary bedwetting are:
- Not mature enough to hold the urge to urinate during the night
- Small bladder volume
- Ignoring the urge to urinate during the daytime
- Secondary bedwetting:
Secondary bedwetting happens to adults. And it occurs suddenly after a long periods of staying dry due to different problems. Underlying reasons for secondary bedwetting are:
- Hormonal reasons: low production of ADH is responsible for slowing down urine production during sleep
- Neurological reasons: Disturbed functionality of nerve that is responsible for sending signals that the bladder is full
- Infections like Urinary tract infection, pinworm infection, infection or cancer in the bladder
- Side effects of medication used for the treatment of psychiatric issues
- Emotional issues like stressful environments or abuse
- Sleep apnea
How Can Bedwetting be Diagnosed?
There are no specific diagnostic tests to identify the reasons for bedwetting. Hence, a urologist in Karachi may ask you questions like these for diagnosis:
- Any previous medical conditions
- Recent pregnancy or childbirth
- Family history
- Nighttime routine
- Number of your toilet visits during the day, or if you control the urge after feeling the need to urinate
- Habits that may cause an issue, like your caffeine intake.
Depending on the situation and based on your answers, the doctor might proceed with:
- Physical exam
- Urine test or urinalysis to rule out the possibility of any infection or disease
- In case the doctor suspects something abnormal, they may go for an ultrasound or X-rays of the bladder and kidneys
- Blood tests to diagnose diabetes or other chronic conditions
How Can Bedwetting be Treated?
Your urologist may suggest these treatment methods for bedwetting:
- Behavioral Changes:
Behavioural changes include monitoring the water intake at night time and setting alarms to urinate while you are asleep.
Depending on the situation, medication will be prescribed if you have a UTI or irritation in the bladder. In some situations, medication is prescribed to increase ADH production in the body too.
In some cases, when every other treatment method has failed to treat bedwetting, the doctor may suggest surgery. Surgical procedures that can help treat bedwetting are Clam Cystoplasty, Detrusor Myectomy, and Sacral Nerve Stimulation.
What Can You Do at Home to Manage Bedwetting?
Some things that you can do at home to manage bedwetting are:
- Lower the intake of water at nighttime to avoid frequent urination
- Lower caffeine or alcohol intake
- Visit the bathroom before you go to bed
- Visit the bathroom regularly during the day and try to avoid controlling the urge to urinate
- Try double voiding, which is visiting the bathroom again after a few minutes of urination
- Set alarms during the night to wake up for urination