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What is bedwetting?

The international Children's Continence Society defines night-time bedwetting as incontinence while sleeping.

The bedwetting is classed as Primary Nocturnal Enuresis (PNE) if the child has never achieved a period of at least 6 months dry at night.1

Night-time bedwetting is the most common chronic ailment in children besides allergic disorders2. It is a widespread and distressing condition that can have a significant impact on a young person’s behaviour and on their emotional and social wellbeing3.

Most children are able to remain dry at night by the time they reach five years old; however if left untreated it can persist so that even at 7.5 years 16 out of every 100 children wet the bed.

This means that in a class of 30 pupils 4 or 5 of them could be affected. It is generally more common in boys than in girls.

The severity of the bedwetting varies for children 7.5 years of age:4

  • 12 children in every 100 wet less than once a week
  • 1 child in every 100 wets once per week
  • 3 children in every 100 wets twice or more per week

HCP RESOURCES

Treating PNE

 

Supporting patient care

 

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

 

Why treat?

Apart from the discomfort and distress of waking up to a wet bed, a recent review of the impact of bedwetting included one study which showed 70.3% of children aged 5-11 years could clearly indicate that wetting is a disadvantage.3

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FAQ

Is there any evidence that bedwetting results from nocturnal polyuria?

Yes – in many studies it has been shown that a considerable number of patients with night-time bedwetting suffer from a relatively high nocturnal urine output. This does not in itself explain bedwetting, but merely that the bladder capacity is exceeded so that voiding occurs during sleep9.

Neveus T et al
Neveus T et al. The standardisation of terminology of lower urinary tract function in children and adolescents: Report from the Standardisation Committee of the International Children's Continence Society (ICCS).
Hjalmas 1997
Hjalmas K. Acta Paediatr 1997;86:919‐22.
Janknegt 1997
Janknegt RA et al. J Urol 1997; 157:513-7.
Butler 2005
Butler et al 2005, BJU; 96: 404-410.