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. Talk to your doctor if your child has bed-wetting after age 5 years. There are two types bed-wetting (also called 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
Bed-wetting is common and not related to a medical condition. Most will stop by the time the child reaches puberty. However, bed-wetting remains a problem for up to 1% of adults.
Urinary System in Child
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Some bed-wetting may be caused by infections or abnormalities of the urinary system. Most bed-wetting has no explanation.
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 sleep disorder, sometimes related to enlarged tonsils or adenoids
- A tendency for deep sleep
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 :
Last reviewedSeptember 2012by Michael Woods
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.