What are the causes of bedwetting?
The exact causes are unknown. Various factors or causes that have been implicated include:
- Heredity – Bedwetting runs in a family;
- Inability to wake up to urine – Bedwetters are known to be deep sleepers;
- A delay in maturation of bladder control at night – Bedwetting tends to improve with time and the majority of sufferers will ultimately become dry but this may take years and a small percentage of them (1%) will continue bedwetting beyond puberty.
- Lack of production of a naturally occurring body hormone called Anti-Diuretic Hormone (ADH) during sleep. This occurs in 20-30% of children with bedwetting. This hormone is important for reducing urine production at night.
Is bedwetting due to psychological problems?
Absolutely not! Bedwetting is involuntary and the child is actually helpless and have no control over bedwetting. In fact, punishing or blaming a child for bedwetting may actually lead to psychological problems in a child.
Are there underlying diseases/causes like kidney and bladder problems in bedwetting?
No. The vast majority of bedwetters are healthy with no underlying disease. Only rarely is bedwetting associated with other diseases. When this occurs, it is almost always associated with symptoms like wetting during the day, painful urination, fever, excessive thirst, large urine volume or failure to grow.
When bedwetting occurs in a child who has been dry for months, it may be due to an underlying urine infection or sometimes due to stressful conditions like a change of environment, change of school, etc.
Where can I get help?
You can seek advice and treatment from your family doctors.
You may also obtain advice and support from the Society of Continence (Singapore) or call its hotline@+65 62806690 for assistance.