Characteristics of enuresis

What is enuresis?

Characterístics of enuresis

Enuresis or bed-wetting is a condition caused by lack of bladder control that causes the children or girls to urinate involuntarily in bed , especially at night.

Medically speaking, a child over 5 or 6 years old is considered to have a disorder of enuresis whe he/she wets the bed at least three times a month.

Whom does enuresis mainly affect?

Many children suffer from bedwetting when they are small. Statue of Manneken_Pis (= child who pisses) in the center of Brussel

Boys tend to suffer from enuresis more than girls.

Involuntary bed-wetting is a problem that affects most people during their childhood period up to 4 or 5 years of age.

Subsequently, it will be solved in most cases before puberty, although some people have a harder time and may continue with it well up to ten years, (two of every 100 girls and three out of every 100 children still show this condition).

Even a 1 or 2% of people who have reached puberty are having this problem. In fact, many people urinate in bed until they are five or six years old, so the disorder should start to be treated from 7 or 8 years of age.

Consequences of enuresis

In general, it is a mild anomaly that disappears over time without the slightest complication.

Parents should provide support, understanding and love to the child in this situation, because, in addition to be physically uncomfortable, they feel very embarrassed. In general, it is a mild abnormality that disappears over time without the slightest complication.

However, if the boy or girl who has it experiences the problem as something shameful, abnormal or feels guilty, it can be the cause of the emergence of other complex phobias, fears or other insecurities that prolong or worsen the disorder.

It is necessary to distinguish this problem from the urinary incontinence that is another disorder characterized by involuntary loss of urine in small losses that occurs from time to time and which mainly affects older people.

Types of enuresis

The following types of enuresis exist:

  • Nocturnal Enuresis: It is the most common and occurs at night.
  • Diurnal Enuresis: It is the one that occurs during the day.
  • Primary Enuresis: It is a type of enuresis that stays constant without periods of pause.
  • Secondary Enuresis: It is a type that reappears after a pause of at least six months.

Symptoms of enuresis

Incapacity to control urination, bed-wetting.

Causes of enuresis


Diabetes can be one of the causes of enuresis

Enuresis responds to any of the following causes or a combination of some of them:

  • Inability to recognize the need to urinate: The child has not learned to associate the filling of the bladder with the need to urinate.
  • Inability to control urinary muscles: Although the control of urethral sphincter starts to take place after 3 years, many older children do not have muscles strong enough to control the opening or closure of the urethra. Other times, the nerves that communicate the order to the toilet are not yet mature, and so on. So, they unconsciously leak urine. This is very normal until 5 or 6 years of age and can easily appear in toher people who mature later.
  • Disturbed sleep rhythms: Some boys and girls do not sleep well during the day and are too tired at night. So they are unable to wake up to urinate.
  • Psychological grounds: There are certain situations that provide situations of anxiety, stress or insecurity and generate a tension that may be causing the onset of secondary enuresis. In this way, many boys and girls who had achieved bladder control and fall again after a long period without peeing on the bed, do it again.Among all these situations, we can include: family discussions, family separations, transfers from home, starting nursery or school, birth of siblings, physical abuse, sexual abuse, harassment, school bullying.
  • Excessive ingestion of liquids at night: Many children or children usually urinate at night when they drink plenty of fluids some hours before bedtime.
  • Genetic Causes: Those children whose parents had enuresis have a natural tendency to have the same disorder.
  • Physical Diseases: They represent the lowest percentage of cases of enuresis. Among all diseases we can include:

Diagnostics of enuresis

Inform your doctor if your child bedwetting gets worse or if the enuresis is not improving with the implementation of a number of remedies. The doctor, through physical examination or by using a urine test, should rule out any disease that could be responsible for this disorder.

It is also necessary to visit the doctor, psychologist or pediatrician at the onset of a recurrent enuresis or secondary enuresis. Many problems that cause a relapse can be very dangerous for the physical or mental health of the child who returns to bedwetting after several months without it.

Daytime incontinence cases must be addressed quickly to solve possible problems of infections, spinal cord injuries or urinary tract problems.

Treatment of enuresis

Although there are medications that can be used to keep the child form bed-wetting, these do not solve the problem at once and represent a major economic burden for parents.

It is not desirable to threaten or punish your child because such behavior only increases tension and makes the problem worse. Proper treatment requires focus, adequate support and patience from parents or older siblings to deal with it gently, helping the person who naturally has to solve it without involving trauma. (See “Tips to treat enuresis” in the listing above)

punto rojo More information on enuresis

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

20 June, 2020

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