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Say Goodbye to Bedwetting: How to Prevent Nocturnal Enuresis

Preventing and managing bedwetting (nocturnal incontinence) can help reduce discomfort and distress. Here are some tips on how to achieve this.

7 min read
Say Goodbye to Bedwetting: How to Prevent Nocturnal Enuresis
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Nocturnal incontinence can be a difficult situation for the entire family, causing disruptions in sleep for both the person with incontinence and their carers. Taking the necessary steps to maintain dryness and comfort during the night can significantly increase the quality of everyday life.

The good news is that most bedwetting incidents are preventable. Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, refers to the involuntary release of urine while sleeping. It's a common problem, particularly among children, and usually isn't a cause for worry.

However, if it persists beyond the age of seven or occurs in adulthood, especially if it's frequent or unexpected, it may become a concern. We recommend speaking to a GP if you or a loved experience this. 

Causes of Bedwetting

Nocturnal enuresis can be caused by a number of factors. Here are some of the possible causes of bedwetting:

  1. Developmental delay: Bedwetting is a common occurrence in young children and may indicate a delay in bladder control development. Children frequently outgrow problems as they develop and get older.

  2. Genetics: Bedwetting tends to run in families, which raises the probability that it may be a genetic condition.

  3. Urinary tract infections (UTIs): UTIs can cause discomfort and pain while urinating, leading to an increased risk of bedwetting.

  4. Constipation: This can lead to bedwetting as the stool in the colon puts additional pressure on the bladder.

  5. Sleep disorders: Certain sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, can increase the risk of bedwetting.

  6. Psychological factors: Stress, anxiety, and emotional problems can sometimes lead to bedwetting.

  7. Neurological problems: Certain neurological conditions, such as spina bifida or nerve damage, can impact bladder control and increase the risk of bedwetting.

  8. Weakened bladder or pelvic floor muscles: If the bladder muscles or pelvic floor muscles are weak, it can be difficult for a person to hold in their urine and keep it from leaking out.
  9. Diabetes: Bedwetting, which is uncommon for a person who normally remains dry at night, may be an indication of diabetes. This can be accompanied by other symptoms such as frequent urination, excessive thirst, tiredness, and weight loss even with a good appetite.

It's important to note that bedwetting can be a complex problem, and multiple factors may be contributing to the problem. If you, your child or a loved one is experiencing bedwetting, it's best to consult with a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.

How to Diagnose Bedwetting

In order to diagnose bedwetting, a healthcare provider will typically start with a thorough review of a patient's medical history and physical examination.

  • Medical History: The healthcare provider will ask questions about the frequency and pattern of bedwetting, as well as any associated symptoms, such as daytime incontinence, urinary tract infections, or pain during urination. The provider will also ask about any family history of bedwetting and whether the individual has any medical conditions that may be contributing to the problem.
  • Physical Examination: The healthcare provider will perform a physical examination to check for any underlying physical problems that may be contributing to bedwetting. This may include a pelvic examination to check for any physical abnormalities or issues with bladder control.
  • Urine Tests: The healthcare provider may also perform urine tests to check for any infections or other underlying medical conditions. This may include a urinalysis, a urine culture, or other tests as needed.
  • Bladder Function Tests: In some cases, the healthcare provider may also perform tests to assess bladder function, such as a bladder diary, a voiding cystourethrogram (an exam that takes images of the urinary system), or urodynamic testing (measures pressure in the urinary tract). These tests are used to determine the size and capacity of the bladder, as well as the strength of the bladder and urethral muscles.
  • Diagnostic Imaging: If necessary, the healthcare provider may also order diagnostic imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or a MRI, to further evaluate the bladder and urinary tract.

Based on the results of the medical history, physical examination, urine tests, bladder function tests, and diagnostic imaging, the healthcare provider will be able to diagnose bedwetting and determine the underlying cause. Once a diagnosis is made, the healthcare provider can then develop a treatment plan that is tailored to the individual's specific needs.

How to Stop Bedwetting

Patience is key when it comes to managing bedwetting. Finding the right treatment may require some trial and error, so be gentle with yourself or your loved one as you explore different options. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate bedwetting, it is possible to minimise leakage with the right approach.

To help enhance sleep quality and minimise bedwetting incidents, there are several steps that you or your loved one can take:

  • Consult with a healthcare professional: They will review your medical history and health to ensure any underlying health conditions are identified and treated appropriately. This is a crucial first step if you or your loved one are experiencing regular nocturnal incontinence.
  • Avoid ‘trigger’ foods: Some foods are more likely than others to trigger incontinence, including caffeine, carbonated drinks, alcohol, acidic fruits and fruit juices, chocolate, spicy foods and more. Consider stripping these from your diet and monitoring your incontinence levels, looking at which foods are likely impacting your ability to hold urine throughout the night.
  • Practise strong bladder habits: This is a helpful preventative step for everyone, even those not experiencing incontinence. These include only going to the toilet when your bladder is full (and not ‘just in case’), taking your time when you’re on the toilet, and allowing your bladder to fully empty with each visit.
  • Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles: Pelvic floor muscle training can be of great use to men and women alike. There are a number of resources online that can help you to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles at home, but continence physiotherapists can also advise on exercises that can help in this area.
  • Maintain your fluid intake: Staying hydrated is crucial, despite the temptation to avoid fluid. Doing so can lead to overconsumption of fluids close to bedtime and irritate the urinary tract. Instead, increase your water intake and decrease your consumption of caffeine and alcohol to maintain a healthy bladder and reduce bedwetting.

Alongside these steps, finding the best continence management products for your needs can also provide the support you require for dry, restful and secure sleep. These products can provide the necessary support and lead to undisturbed, rejuvenating nights, enabling you to start each day feeling refreshed and energised.

Most approaches to reducing night-time bedwetting will rely on a combination of techniques and continence management products, so it’s important to find the best tools for the job as you work towards improved sleep.

Remember, as we age, we produce less antidiuretic hormone meaning we potentially produce more urine at night. You should aim for a higher level absorbency pad so that you only need to get up no more than once a night.

What to Look for in Continence Management Products

When it comes to dealing with bedwetting, finding the right incontinence products can make a huge difference in helping to improve sleep quality and reduce accidents.

Consider factors such as absorbency, fit, and ease of use, as well as any personal preferences or requirements, such as environmental sustainability or skin sensitivity.

At ConfidenceClub, we prioritise fit, comfort and confidence. Our products are high-quality, European-made and are available to Australians all over the country - all without you needing to leave home.

With our "It Fits Or It's Free" 100% money-back guarantee, you can feel confident in your purchase. If the product doesn't work for you or your loved one, we'll provide a full refund without any questions asked. Our team is dedicated to providing support and finding the best solution for your needs.

If you have any questions about our product range, you can speak to our customer service team 6 days a week, by calling 1800 86 11 99 or emailing hello@confidenceclub.com.au. We also have an online chat on our website. We’re here to help!

We hope this article has helped shed some light on what to expect regarding bedwetting. Why not check out our other helpful articles while you’re here?

*This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Incontinence can be caused by a variety of underlying health conditions and is best diagnosed and treated by a healthcare professional. If you are experiencing incontinence, we strongly recommend that you consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.

About the Author: Pawel Krause

With over four years of experience creating engaging health and lifestyle articles and social media designs. Gabrielle is passionate about connecting audiences with meaningful content. Gabrielle aims to create a safe, inclusive and educational space for ConfidenceClub's community through each article she crafts.

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