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Bed wetting: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About bed wetting

Bed wetting also called ‘nocturnal enuresis’ is commonly seen in children of age 5 years or more. It is characterised by involuntary urination, especially at night, when the child is asleep.

Bed Wetting: Incidence, age and sex

Bed wetting is a common problem encountered in children of 5 to 7 years of age. It has been documented more in boys as compared with girls.>/p>

Signs and symptoms of bed wetting: Diagnosis

Bed wetting as the name suggests refers to involuntary passage of urine, especially during night time. This may occur about two to three times a month. Moreover such children usually show good bladder control during daytime. Bed wetting phenomenon may be primary or secondary in nature. Primary bed wetting is characterised by the fact that the affected child has never achieved bladder control whereas secondary bed wetting is referred to the condition in which recurrence of bed wetting occurs in children who had achieved and maintained adequate bladder control for at least six months.

Causes and prevention of bed wetting

Generally the children become fully toilet trained by 5 to 6 years of age. But in some children there seems to be an inability to recognize brain signals for urination when bladder is full. But certain factors like positive family history may play a vital role in causing primary bed wetting. It may also be just a normal developmental delay in the maturity of nervous system. Secondary bed wetting is a matter of concern and needs to be thoroughly investigated. Several factors like structural abnormality of urethra, urinary tract infections, spinal cord anomalies, diabetes mellitus and even emotional stress may lead to the development of secondary bed wetting.

Bed wetting: Complications

Bed wetting in itself does not result in any physical health concerns. But underlying causative factors of secondary bed wetting may need to be timely and adequately treated. Moreover frequent episodes of bed wetting may cause social embarrassment and lack of self esteem in an affected child.

Bed wetting: Treatment

Bed wetting is a treatable and curable disorder. Secondary bed wetting needs to be investigated in detail and the underlying disease should be treated effectively. Repeated reassurance and positive re-enforcement plays a significant role in managing such a condition. Other measures like restriction of fluids at bed time, developing a habit of emptying the bladder just before going to bed may also help. Moreover certain gadgets like bed wetting alarms have helped several affected children in achieving bladder control. Very seldom, there may be a need to prescribe medications like desmopressin which reduces urine production at night.