Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

About Nocturnal Enuresis

Nocturnal Enuresis, which in layman’s terms is called bedwetting at night, is a condition in which a child urinates in bed involuntarily while asleep even after the age by which ideally they should have control over their bladder. This becomes embarrassing and distressing moment for the child and affects deeply the child’s psyche and confidence as well. However, this is a condition which is quite common and it has nothing to do with the toilet training given by the parents to their child. In most cases, it is just a part of development of a child.

Normally, Nocturnal Enuresis or Bedwetting in a child under seven years of age is something which is quite natural and is supposed to go away as the child grows. However, some children do not develop bladder control even after this age and continue to wet the bed at night, this becomes a cause for concern for some parents even though in most of the cases this is not a cause for alarm. Lifestyle modifications like timed voiding, bladder training, and alarms are quite beneficial in controlling Nocturnal Enuresis (bedwetting) to some degree.

What is the Cause of Nocturnal Enuresis (Bedwetting)?

What Is The Cause Of Nocturnal Enuresis (Bedwetting)?

There is no specific cause for Nocturnal Enuresis although there are some factors which tend to play a role in a child wetting the bed at night. Some of the potential causes that have been identified for Nocturnal Enuresis (Bedwetting) are:

Bladder Size: The size of the bladder is small in some children, and thus it is able to hold less urine than produced during the course of the night, resulting in the child leaking urine or wetting the bed.

Insensate to Full Bladder: Sometimes, the nerves which control the bladder are not completely developed in a child. This results in the child not being able to feel that the bladder is full or get the urge to urinate. This results in the child leaking urine or having Nocturnal Enuresis. Bedwetting happens normally to children who have a very deep sleep.

Hormonal Imbalance: This is yet another cause for a child having Nocturnal Enuresis or Bedwetting. Some children have inadequate production of a hormone called as antidiuretic hormone, the function of which is to slow down the production of urine at night. This results in more urine to be produced than the bladder can handle causing Nocturnal Enuresis.

Urinary Tract Infections: Urinary Tract Infections are also believed to cause Nocturnal Enuresis. One of the symptoms of this infection is difficulty to hold or control urine. This results in the child wetting the bed at night.

Sleep Apnea: This is also one of the common causes of Nocturnal Enuresis. Sleep Apnea causes interrupted sleep as a result of inflamed or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. This may result in Nocturnal Enuresis.

Chronic Constipation: The muscles that are used for controlling bladder are the same muscles that are used for passing out stools. If a child has constipation for prolonged periods of time, then these muscles stops functioning resulting in the child losing the ability to control the bladder causing Nocturnal Enuresis or bedwetting.

Stress and Anxiety: This is believed to be one of the leading causes of Nocturnal Enuresis in children. A stressed and anxious child is more likely to experience bedwetting in sleep than a normal child due to the stress that the child may be feeling just because of the habit of bedwetting or other environmental stressors. In such cases, it becomes the duty of the parents to be the support structure of the child and help overcome whatever stressors the child may be dealing with to get rid of Nocturnal Enuresis.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: July 31, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest