Older Children Still Bed Wetting: Helping them get out of the Stigma

Most of us relate bedwetting to toddlers and smaller children. But the fact that bedwetting issue can occur irrespective of age or gender, is not known to all. Bedwetting is very common in young adults and older children. There is a huge lack of awareness among public and general stigma related to web-wetting is high. As a result very few of those who are 16 and still bed wetting seek professional consultancy despite effective treatments and therapies being available.

Bed Wetting or enuresis is a sleep condition. It is a situation wherein an individual is unable to get up from sleep to urinate during a full-bladder. There are four major causes of older children still bed wetting. These are;

· The amount of urine generated during nighttime is directly dependent on the type and amount of drinks/beverages consumed. For instance, alcohol is diuretic meaning it will make a person thirsty and urinate more often.

· Lack of vasopressin (hormone) may also result in bed wetting. In general, vasopressin secretion is normally increased during night time that stops kidneys from making more urine. Some children have lesser secretion of vasopressin during night, resulting in uncontrollable urine volumes during night.

· Older children having a smaller bladder or a heavily contracting bladder also suffer from bed wetting. These types of bladder have lesser urine holding capacities during night. Constipation and caffeine can also affect these abnormal bladders.

· Some people have a very deep sleep. Others have sleep issues that prevents them from waking up during a full-bladder condition. These sleep issues can be from birth or can be due to medication, tiredness or sedatives.

Research reports that almost 1–3 percent teenagers across the globe suffer from bed wetting. Among them 80 percent have always had this issue. The rest 20 percent suffer from secondary enuresis. Secondary enuresis is a condition wherein an older child starts bedwetting after passing a previously dry phase. These can be due post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, excessive alcohol consumption or uncontrollable anxiety or depression. The impact of bed wetting among older children & young adults is much more severe. It is known to impact their work performance, jobs and relationships as well as deciding a companion for life.


Even though effective treatments and therapies are available, the issue is more psychological and societal. Most of the teenager patients are too afraid or embarrassed to speak up even to their parents or friends, let alone seek professional help. It has been seen than almost 20–50 percent of older children never sought any professional help and continued with their suffering.

While the principal treatment method is similar for all, it is best to seek professional help to detect the underlying issue behind bed wetting. Some of the common treatment strategies for bedwetting areurotherapy, administration of desmopressin, antidepressant imipramine, bed-wetting alarm and training for bed-wetting alarms & sensors. Most of these treatments have shown to be very effective in completely eradicating bed-wetting. However, there is a huge need of raising awareness about 16 and still bed wetting so that more and more teenagers come out from their suffering and get appropriate treatment.

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