Adult Bedwetting: the Uncommon, but Serious Issue

BLOG-BEDWETTING-IMAGE.pngWhen we think of bedwetting we usually think of children but when certain things go wrong for adults, bedwetting may be a clue that there is an underlying problem. Adult onset of bedwetting, also known as secondary enuresis, is not common and usually requires medical attention.

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

Causes of Adult Bedwetting

  • Diabetes

  • Neurological disorders

  • Anatomical abnormalities

  • Urinary tract calculi

  • Prostate cancer

  • Prostate enlargement

  • Bladder cancer

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

How to Monitor the Overactive Bladder

Your doctor will start by asking questions about your symptoms and your health history so it is good to start a daily journal. Here are a few questions to answer with your journal. How often do you urinate at night? How many trips to the bathroom per night? How often do you wet the bed per night? How much water did you drink before bed? How much do you urinate each time? Is it painful? Are there any other symptoms?

Your doctor will then start some testing. This usually starts with a physical examination and then includes other tests such as:

Urinalysis– tests for urinary tract conditions

Urine Culture – tests for urinary tract infections

Uroflowmetry – measures how much and how quickly you urinate

Post-void residual urine measurement- measures how much urine is left in your bladder after voiding.

Ultrasound of kidneys and bladder – checks for urinary tract and kidney stones

Blood test – checks for diabetes

Sleep Test– checks for obstructive sleep apnea

Neurological evaluation

Psychological evaluation

Other Ways to Manage an Overactive Bladder

  • Use a waterproof bed pad or mattress protector

  • Wear overnight incontinence products to bed.

  • Use special skincare products to prevent irritation.

  • Set an alarm to empty bladder throughout the night.

  • Void bladder at bedtime.

  • Avoid bladder irritants such as caffeine and alcohol.

  • Get proper fluid intake throughout the day and limit fluids before bed.

Whatever the cause, adult bedwetting can be embarrassing and disruptive. Don’t let embarrassment or procrastination put you or your loved one’s health at risk. Make an appointment with your healthcare professional so you can start treatment right away.