1) Is bedwetting a problem that needs therapy?
Yes, this is especially when the child is already at school going age and bedwetting (As the condition specifically refers the one suffered by the child, “the” (or “his/her” should be present. Without “the”, it refers to the condition generally which is not the premise for this sentence) is frequent. Studies have shown that constant bedwetting can adversely affect the psychosocial development of the child, resulting in low self-esteem and poor social adjustment.
It can also cause resentment and anxiety in parents and other family members. It constitutes a source of embarrassment and deters the sufferer from healthy outdoor activities like overnight camping and travelling.
In Singapore, it has been found that bedwetters and their parents sought treatment for the following reasons:
- Restricted activities involving overnight sleep outside of their homes;
- Parenting fatigue;
- Disrupted sleep for the household; and
- Fear of underlying disease.
2) Can bedwetting be treated?
Yes. With treatment, the majority of sufferers can become dry or improve significantly. Although bedwetting can resolve spontaneously, if left alone, this may take several years. To date, there are two established treatment strategies that have about 70-80% success rate: bedwetting alarm and a synthetic ADH that can concentrate and reduce urine production.
3) How does bedwetting alarm help?
(A) Bedwetting alarm is a form of conditioning therapy. It comprises a urine sensitive pad formed by a series of flexible wires connected to an alarm unit. The detector pad is placed on the child’s underwear when he/she goes to sleep. The moment a few drops of urine comes into contact with the pad, an alarm will be triggered, awaking the child who will then cease voiding, get out of bed and complete voiding in the toilet. After several nights of being awakened in this manner, a conditioned response is developed, enabling the child to hold his/her urine even when his/her bladder is full.
Thus, it takes time to train the bladder. Results are often seen only after weeks of therapy. This method is effective in 70-80% of bedwetters, but it requires high motivation and patience on the part of the bedwetters and their parents as well as constant support from therapists.
4) 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.