Common …and Commonly Misunderstood

Nighttime bedwetting, medically described as primary nocturnal enuresis, is a common problem affecting an estimated 5 to 7 million children in the United States. Chances are, your child has a classmate, friend or teammate who wets the bed. Although common, bedwetting is seldom discussed outside the family, and little information is provided to the public on this topic. This has not enhanced the quality of life for these children and their parents.

When was the last time you read about bedwetting in the health section of your local paper? It is very important that parents understand the facts about bedwetting, because bedwetting can cause psychosocial problems for children and their parents. In the absence of factual information, misconceptions proliferate. Several misconceptions about bedwetting are: that a child's bedwetting is caused by drinking too much fluid before bedtime; that the child has deep-seated psychological problems; and that the child is too lazy to get out of bed to void.

The underlying cause (etiology) of bedwetting has been studied by numerous researchers and is known to be multifactorial. That is, there is no ONE single cause for bedwetting. This has complicated the approach to treatment, where a simple "cause-effect" relationship is much more straightforward and easier to understand. Recent research has confirmed that genetics plays a major role in the disease.

A number of factors must be taken into account when considering treatment. These include the child's age (older children tend to suffer more from the stigma of bedwetting and lessened participation in peer activities); the severity of the problem within the family (the burden of daily laundry and teasing); and the child's likely response to therapy.

A thorough medical history and examination is necessary to determine which specific treatment combination will work best for your child. Fortunately, help is available.


Copyright © 2000-. Enuresis Associates LLC All rights reserved. The information provided on is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for specific medical advice and treatment concerning your child's situation. Contact us at 410-209-9705 or 8186 Lark Brown Rd Ste 301, Elkdridge, MD 21075

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