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Facts about bed wetting

Bedwetting is usually defined as children over the age of five who involuntarily urinate in bed at night. Bedwetting or enuresis is more common than many people think - about every tenth seven-year-old urinates regularly in bed at night. Among fifteen-year-olds, the number has dropped to one in a hundred.

Although everyone can be affected, it is more common in boys than in girls and the cause can often be hereditary. The most common cause of bedwetting is a later maturation of the nervous systems that control the bladder. It usually grows away on its own, but in some people the problems linger into adolescence. Other causes of bedwetting can e.g. due to the hormone vasopressin which controls the kidneys' urine production, or if a child has been dry for six months and then starts urinating in bed, it may instead be due to, for example, urinary tract infection or constipation.

Young children (under the age of five) usually do not see bedwetting as a major problem. As they get older, however, both children and parents may find it difficult. It is not uncommon for the child to find it embarrassing, affect their self-confidence and worry about sleeping away. Recurring changes of bedding and interrupted night sleep can create irritation and frustration in parents - it is completely natural. But towards the child, it is important to show love and understanding and try to de-dramatize the situation.