Night-time incontinence refers to a condition in which there is uncontrolled urination while you are asleep. It is common in small children and usually, most of them overcome it by the age of seven years. It is also known as nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting. It can affect people of any age.(1)
How To Diagnose Night-Time Incontinence?
Usually, symptoms like wetting the bed at night or sometimes even during the day after the age of seven in case of a child; or relapse of bed wetting in a child who had been dry at night for quite a few months; or in case of other people bed wetting at an age when they are expected to go dry at nights, indicates night time incontinence.
Your doctor will know this after he gets a few answers from you. However, to identify the cause for nighttime incontinence, he may recommend going for a few tests. The results of the tests may also reveal the course of treatment.
The tests for Nighttime incontinence may include-
- Physical examination- He will conduct a thorough physical examination
- He will discuss with you about your fluid intake, bowel and bladder routine, family history, other problems related to bed-wetting, etc.
- He will ask you to take some urine tests to check for any urine infection or signs of diabetes
- He may ask you to go for an x-ray examination or ultrasonography of your urinary tract to check for kidneys, bladder and other structures
- He may recommend some other tests for urinary tract assessment, as required
- The diagnosis and the results of tests will decide the course of treatment that is needed to treat nighttime incontinence.(2)
What Is The Best Medicine For Night-time incontinence?
Medicine is prescribed for urinary incontinence as the last strategy when other strategies do not show any results. , are generally given for a short time period, till you stop bed wetting. There is no single best medicine for treating night-time incontinence. Different types of medicines perform actions and are prescribed according to the need of the patient. The types of medicines include-
Medicines Used For Night-Time Incontinence –
- Desmopressin diminishes urine production at night.
- However, drinking lots of fluids with this medicine may pose some problems
- Also, desmopressin needs to be avoided if the child is suffering from conditions like fever, nausea, diarrhea etc.
- Desmopressin is to be given to kids above the age of 5 years only
- It is available as an x-ray tablet to be given orally.
- Nasal sprays were given earlier, but are not recommended anymore, because they pose too much risk and adverse effects.(2)
Medicines Used To Calm The Bladder-
- If your child has a small bladder and if there are incidences of daytime incontinence as well, an anticholinergic medicine like oxybutynin may be prescribed to decrease the bladder contractions and increase its capacity
- This medicine is used with other medication and is given when other medicines or treatments do not work(2)
- A combination of medicines may be needed many times. However, there is no guarantee and the problem is not cured by medicines. The problem resurfaces again when the medicine is discontinued. In kids, the problem is usually resolved on its own and in other cases, the underlying cause needs to be treated to treat the problem of incontinence.
Nighttime incontinence can be diagnosed by your doctor with the help of some answers you give to his questions. However, he may advise you to get a few tests done which may be helpful in establishing the exact reason for your nighttime incontinence. There is no single best treatment or medicine for treating night-time incontinence. Often, a combination of different strategies is used to treat this problem and results vary from person to person.
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