Bed-wetting

(Enuresis; Primary Nocturnal Enuresis; PNE)

Definition

Bed-wetting is involuntary urination during sleep in children. Typically, children become able to sleep through the night without wetting around ages 3 to 5 years. Enuresis is bed-wetting at least twice a week. There are two types of enuresis:
  • Primary nocturnal enuresis (PNE)—no periods of nighttime dryness
  • Secondary nocturnal enuresis (SNE)—periods of nighttime dryness longer than 6 months followed by bed-wetting
Urinary System in Child
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Causes

Bed-wetting is common and not usually related to a medical condition. Some factors that may contribute to bed-wetting include:
  • Bladder control that develops more slowly than normal
  • Greater than average urine production at night
  • A tendency for deep sleep
  • Overactive bladder
In rare cases, bed-wetting may be a symptom of a health condition. These conditions may cause excess urine or prevent the bladder from completely emptying. They include:

Risk Factors

Factors that increase the chance of bed-wetting include:
  • Family members with a history of bed-wetting
  • Significant psychosocial stressors, such as:
    • Family difficulties
    • Moving to a new home
    • Loss of a loved one
    • A new baby in the home
    • Initial toilet training that was too stressful
    • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Chronic constipation
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

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