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
Supporting patient care
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
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.