Bedwetting: An Introduction

by Prav

Bed-wetting or nocturnal enuresis is the unintentional passing of urine at a time when the bladder should already have control.  Children normally do bed-wet at young ages and even while being potty-trained; however, when bed wetting happens after the child has already passed the training stage, then it may be a disabling disorder for the child.

Experts say that bed wetting or sleep wetting is a common problem associated with psychosocial issues.  Many parents go to their pediatrician or a developmental psychologist for this condition and it is not surprising that this problem takes up a large chunk of the doctor’s time.

Although bedwetting is hardly dangerous in terms of physical health, it is very embarrassing and some children will find it hard to deal with.  They would never be able to have sleepovers since their playmates and friends will definitely have a grand time teasing them about their condition.  As a result, the child may become withdrawn and his social growth will be hampered.

Seeking Professional Help for bedwetting: Is It the Answer?

There are ways to treat nocturnal enuresis; the difficulty lies in the parents or the child refusing to seek help because they are embarrassed and they attribute it to immaturity, hoping the condition will right itself.  On top of that, general practitioners do not have the right training and even if they do, their knowledge is not enough. But experts say that once the treatment of nocturnal enuresis becomes successful, the satisfaction that the child, the parents, and the doctor would feel is immeasurable.

The subject of treatment for bedwetting however, has been controversial and at best vague since the dawn of time. There has been literature on bedwetting since 1550 BC; the methods of treatment were cruel and barbaric and were often futile.  Some of these earlier treatments included the testicles of a hare in wine and giving it to the child to drink or a rooster’s comb being dried and scattering this all over the bed wetter’s bed.  A more cruel form of treatment was inducing blisters in the child’s sacrum.

The first ever successful treatment was a form of psychic management introduced in 1927 by Friedell. He restricted fluid intake and introduced sterile water into the child’s body.  He then proceeded to reassure the child that the cure works; this process demonstrated a success rate of 87%.

Understanding Bed wetting at night – Nocturnal Enuresis

Although bed wetting has been proven to have physical and psychological triggers, many parents still find it hard to accept.  Most would still choose to associate bed wetting with the child being hard headed or thick witted; some would choose punishment and intentional humiliation in an effort to make the child stop bed wetting.

Experts say this should not be the case.  Bed wetting is caused by different conditions; none of which alludes to the child’s inability to follow orders. Some of the reasons include genetics meaning it may actually be a hereditary trait.  It may also be caused by the child’s bladder’s lower capacity or an unusually large production of urine at nighttime.