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​ What is Nocturnal Enuresis?

​ What is Nocturnal Enuresis?

Posted by Kevin on 2021 Oct 21st

Nocturnal Enuresis is the medical term for Bedwetting. It is often seen in children and is most often the result of an immature bladder. Bedwetting in children up to the age of 5 years is quite normal, and occasional night time accidents in older children are not usually a cause for concern. In many cases the child will grow out of it eventually. However, if bedwetting persists, it is necessary to seek medical attention because in rare cases, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Many may consider night time bedwetting only an issue experienced by young children, however, many adults do suffer from a similar situation.

Bedwetting can affect your nightly routine by preventing you from enjoying a night away from home, taking holidays even business trips and forming a new relationship. Never mind the basic issues of constantly washing your bedding. Many people do experience nocturnal enuresis with varying frequency and often hide their condition because they are embarrassed. But with the right habits and the correct products, Bedwetting can be managed.

Causes of Nocturnal Enuresis:

Anxiety/Stress — Nocturnal Enuresis may be brought on by recent anxiety or stress, and may continue after the problem has gone. It’s important to remember that Nocturnal Enuresis in adult life could be the result of a more serious underlying problem.

Fluids intake — Even though we all need to keep our fluid levels up, there are some drinks that can irritate the bladder or make the body produce urine more quickly than normal. These include alcohol and caffeine drinks like tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cola.

"Overactive” or “unstable” bladder (OAB) — Many studies have shown a high incidence of OAB (around 70 - 80%) in Nocturnal Enuresis patients.

Smaller than average bladder — Bedwetting or Nocturnal Enuresis patients may have a smaller FBC (functional bladder capacity). FBC is the amount of urine the bladder can hold before sending a signal to the brain to indicate the need to void. Sometimes over activity of the bladder muscle means it is never fully relaxed during the filling phase. Consequently, the bladder capacity is not as large.

Unrelated Medications — Medication for heart and blood pressure problems or for mental illness and anxiety can alter the way your urinary system works, which can cause you to have less control over your bladder than normal.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) — An infection in the urinary tract can sometimes cause Nocturnal Enuresis.

Solutions for nocturnal enuresis:

The first thing you should do is to talk to your family doctor. Don’t worry about feeling embarrassed to talk about bedwetting they are professionals and they deal with things like this every day and believe me they’ve heard it all before. You’ll find that they will be able to put your mind at ease and help plan a few strategies to help you combat Nocturnal Enuresis.

Talking about Nocturnal Enuresis with someone can be a tremendous relief, especially when you realise that most people will be supportive and sympathetic.

Another good idea before chatting with your doctor is to keep a diary for a week before your appointment showing how often you pass urine, how much you drink and episodes of Nocturnal Enuresis.

Be prepared to give a sample of your urine so it can be tested for infection.

Your doctor may discuss some treatment strategies with you such as bladder training, monitoring your fluid intake at night, cutting down on caffeinated beverages and alcohol, or using an alarm to wake you at night.

*Note that alcoholic drinks make bedwetting worse. The effect of the alcohol itself and/or the extra fluid, especially when drinking beer*

Incontinence aids can be very helpful when dealing with bedwetting as well. There are a range of overnight incontinence aids for both men and women that are designed to absorb large amounts of urine. These products can help you to regain confidence and finally get a good night’s sleep.