What is enuresis in children?

Enuresis is the medical term for what is commonly known as bedwetting. It is quite common during childhood, and happens more in boys than girls, since the development of the sphincters takes a little longer in boys.


Enuresis in children is not a serious condition, but the reality is that it is a major problem for affected children, who may feel ashamed or helpless, as well as teased or bullied by their peers.

Therefore, enuresis can cause psychological problems or traumas in children. Also, it can increase the risk of infections in the genital area if a child usually wets the bed.

Symptoms of enuresis in children

The symptom of enuresis is that a child is unable to control their sphincter properly, and they may wet themselves both during the day and more often, at night while sleeping.

Causes of enuresis in children

In children's bedwetting, bedwetting is not caused only by drinking too many liquids before going to sleep, nor by a mental or behavioral problem, but it has other causes:

  • Genetic factors
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Slow development of the central nervous system

In other cases, childhood nocturnal enuresis may happen because the child's bladder is still too small; also because the amount of urine produced at night is bigger than what your bladder can hold, or simply because you need more time to learn how to control this organ.

Can enuresis in children be prevented?

It is not possible to prevent this phenomenon before it happens, or to guess when exactly it will occur, but there are some risk factors that can develop an enuresis, such as stress, anxiety, or ADHD that is not treated properly.

Treatments for enuresis in children

Regarding the treatment, the first step is to visit a specialist in paediatric urology to rule out any physiological causes and other problems. The specialist will recommend  to attend behaviour therapies to correct enuresis, and it may be necessary to go to a specialist in child psychology if the child is suffering from stress or anxiety that causes enuresis in children.

Therefore, medications that help the bladder retain more urine are usually used only when previous behavioural therapy has not worked.

Which specialist treats enuresis in children?

The first specialist to visit in a case of enuresis in children will be the paediatrician or the paediatric urologist, to rule out any physiological causes of the problem. In this case, you should consult a child psychologist to get a diagnosis and therapy for each particular case.

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