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Adult Bedwetting: Causes and Treatment

SELF-TREATMENT

Limiting how much a child drinks in the evening, avoiding caffeinated foods and beverages and encouraging regular toilet use throughout the day may help prevent bed-wetting.

SEEKING MEDICAL CARE

Make an appointment to see a doctor if:

child still wets the bed after age 7

child starts to wet the bed after a few months or more of being dry at night

painful urination, unusual thirst, pink or red urine, hard stools or snoring

No one knows for sure what causes bed-wetting, but various factors may play a role:

  • A small bladder. ...
  • Inability to recognize a full bladder. ...
  • A hormone imbalance. ...
  • Urinary tract infection. ...
  • Sleep apnea. ...
  • Diabetes. ...
  • Chronic constipation. ...
  • A structural problem in the urinary tract or nervous system.


Treatment

Most children outgrow bed-wetting on their own. If treatment is needed, it can be based on a discussion of options with your doctor and identifying what will work best for your situation.

If your child isn't especially bothered or embarrassed by an occasional wet night, lifestyle changes — such as avoiding caffeine entirely and limiting fluid intake in the evening — may work well. However, if lifestyle changes aren't successful or if your grade schooler is terrified about wetting the bed, he or she may be helped by additional treatments.

If found, underlying causes of bed-wetting, such as constipation or sleep apnea, should be addressed before other treatment.

Options for treating bed-wetting may include moisture alarms and medication.

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