Bed-wetting in adults


The medical term for this is ‘Nocturnal Eneuresis’. (The ‘American’ spelling is ‘Enuresis’).

Some people wet the bed as a child and this continues into adulthood (Primary Nocturnal Eneuresis). Generally they have never been dry at night for more than six months. 

Others can be dry initially but develop it as a new problem later in life (Secondary Nocturnal Eneuresis).

They are both quite different conditions and the investigations and treatments vary.

Primary Nocturnal Eneuresis

Bed wetting runs in families.

It is very common for people to find that a sibling or parent also suffered with this condition.

It is important that a full medical history and examination has been performed.

Patients with this condition generally should not have problems with their bladder during the day.  If they do it may mean there are additional problems with the bladder function.

There are a number of different treatments and the value of each of these needs to be discussed. They include;

  • Medications - oral, wafers, sprays
  • Bed wetting alarms

Usually by the time sufferers are adults many treatments have been tried but often given up on too early as a child.

Sometimes further tests may be recommended to ensure other possible diagnoses are excluded.

Secondary Nocturnal Eneuresis

There are multiple causes. 

A thorough history and examination is required initially.

Some investigations may be required to determine the cause or rule out certain conditions.

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