Bedwetting, also called nocturnal enuresis, is involuntary voiding of the bladder while asleep. This condition is found approximately in 15-20 % five-year-olds. It may have a serious impact on children’s development and behavior such as loss of self-esteem, social difficulties, cognitive problems, and other psychological troubles. These will also have an adverse effect on their families. Boys are more affected by bedwetting than girls. Though the prevalence of bedwetting decreases with age, in certain individuals the condition persists. It is estimated that 0.5-2% of adults are affected by bedwetting.
Is your child five years old or more and wets the bed during sleep at night?
(Your child does not suffer from bedwetting – if your child is wet during the day it is called day-time urinary incontinence and you should contact your doctor about this condition.)
Yes, but only occasionally (less than once per month).
(Your child has bedwetting but in a very mild form – it is likely to disappear by itself and if this is your child’s only complaint it is not necessary to see a doctor or start treatment.)
Yes, the bed is wet some nights (1-2 nights per week).
(Your child has bedwetting with moderate severity. There is a small chance (approx. 15-20 %) that it will resolve by itself within the next year. We advise you to see your doctor and discuss possible treatments.)
Yes, the bed is wet almost every night.
(Your child has bedwetting in a severe form. The likelihood that it resolves by itself within the next year is small. You should see your doctor and discuss possible treatments.)
Does your child have any of the following symptoms besides wetting the bed?
a) Leakage of urine during the day
b) Frequent voiding during the day
c) Sudden or urgent need to urinate
d) Need to push or strain to urinate
e) Painful voiding
f) Interrupted urinary stream or several voids one after another
g) History of urinary tract infection
h) History of illness or malformation of the urinary tract or back
i) Symptoms of constipation
j) Behavioral problems, for example, ADHD
For all the above conditions (a to j) you should see your doctor who will check whether the bedwetting is due to an underlying condition.
Dr. Subhankar Sarkar | Consultant – Paediatric Nephrology | Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Howrah