Adult Bedwetting (Enuresis): Causes and Products to Help Manage At Night

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When 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, usually requires medical attention. Adult bedwetting is the involuntary release of urine during sleep. It may be a symptom of bladder problems or more larger-scale issues.

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. We'll explain general information on this condition, but always remember to consult with your doctor first. We'll explain the possible causes and tests that are related to this condition as well as products that can help with the management of this condition.

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 the 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. 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 may 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

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 all sizes. We also carry 100% waterproof mattress protectors that work like a fitted sheet and go under your bedding sheets. These protectors are machine washable and dryer friendly.





  • Wear the correct 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 in bed. Using the right incontinence product can help you sleep better and prevent leaks onto the bed.

  • Use special skincare products to prevent irritation when using incontinence products. These skincare products can be anything from moisture barrier ointments to no-rinse sprays that help keep things fresh down below.

  • Consider an alarm to empty bladder throughout the night.

  • Talk to your doctor about changing your diet. Your doctor may suggest avoiding bladder irritants such as caffeine and alcohol may help with management of adult bedwetting.

  • Discuss with your doctor 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. Request samples of our disposable products online using our easy sample request form or call us at (800) 563-0161.

We're always happy to help!