Adult Bedwetting (Enuresis):  Products & Information to Help Manage At Night

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When we think of bedwetting, we usually think of young children. However, adult-onset of bedwetting affects many adults. Also known as secondary enuresis, it is the involuntary release of urine during sleep. According to Healthline, if you or someone you love experiences one-time bed-wetting as an adult, you likely have nothing to worry about. However, persistent and frequency enuresis may be cause for concern and signal larger-scale issues. Common symptoms include bladder problems or more larger-scale issues. In such cases, medical attention may be the best course of action.

Often the cause of enuresis is physical but in some cases, acute anxiety or other emotional disorders are the issue. Whatever the cause may be, a cure is usually found by treating the underlying problem. 

Possible Causes of Adult Bedwetting

  • Diabetes

  • Neurological disorders

  • Anatomical abnormalities

  • Urinary tract calculi

  • Prostate cancer

  • Prostate enlargement

  • Bladder cancer

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

How to Monitor an Overactive Bladder

Your doctor may start by asking questions about your symptoms and your health history so it is good to start a daily journal if you have time. Here are a few questions to answer in your journal:

  • How many trips do you make to the bathroom each night?

  • How much urine do you void each time you go to the bathroom?

  • How often do you wet the bed each night?

  • How much water do you drink before bed?

  • Is urinating painful?

  • Do you have any other symptoms?

Your doctor may recommend a physical examination as well as testing, which may include:

  • Urinalysis 

  • Urine Culture 

  • Uroflowmetry – measures how much and how quickly you urinate

  • Post-Void Residual Urine Measurement - measures the amount of urine in the bladder after voiding

  • Ultrasound of the Kidneys and Bladder

  • Blood Test

  • Sleep Test

  • Neurological Evaluation

  • Psychological Evaluation

Products & Tips to Help Manage Overactive Bladder

Use a waterproof bed pad or mattress protector to keep your bed as dry as possible. NorthShore offers bed pads in both the disposable (chux) and washable options of various sizes. We also carry 100% waterproof mattress protectors. They are machine washable and dryer friendly.

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Wear the best fitting overnight incontinence products to bed. NorthShore carries liners, tab-style briefs and absorbent pull-on style underwear of all sizes to keep you drier and more comfortable throughout the night. Using the right incontinence product can help you sleep better and prevent leaks.



  • Use special skincare products to prevent irritation. Protective skincare products can include moisture barrier ointments and no-rinse sprays that help keep things fresh.

  • Consider an alarm to prompt voiding during the night.

  • Talk to your doctor about changing your diet. Your doctor may suggest avoiding bladder irritants such as caffeine and alcohol.

  • Discuss fluid intake recommendations with your doctor, especially before bed.

Adult bedwetting can be embarrassing and disruptive. Make an appointment with your healthcare professional so you can get the help you need right away.

NorthShore is always available to help you manage incontinence by providing the right products and supplies for your needs. Request samples of our disposable products online using our Sample Request Form or call us at (800) 563-0161.

We're always happy to help!