Causes | Incontinence
Nocturnal Enuresis - Causes of bedwetting in adults
Nocturnal Enuresis is the medical term for bedwetting in adults. This guide explains about the condition. You can also use our incontinence pull ups to help you manage this condition.
It is normal to wake during the night once or twice to go to the toilet. However, people who suffer with nocturnal enuresis won’t wake up and therefore empty their bladder(adult bedwetting). Nocturnal enuresis can be reduced with the right help. The urge to urinate during the night usually wakes up the sleeping person , but some adults don’t wake up and end up wetting the bed, this is called enuresis nocturna.
What does nocturnal enuresis mean?
Nighttime incontinence, bedwetting in adults, bladder weakness at night – all terms used to describe nocturnal enuresis. Involuntary leakage of urine during the day – i.e. when awake – is called urinary incontinence. If this involuntary urination occurs during sleep – i.e. mostly at night – experts referred to it as enuresis or nocturnal enuresis.
Bedwetting does occur in children, adolescents; adult women and men have experienced uncontrolled emptying of the bladder during sleep. However, if a person is bedwetting this does not mean they are necessarily incontinent. Occasional, uncontrolled urination during sleep is not a cause for concern. From a medical point of view, enuresis is only diagnosed in people over the age of 5 if nocturnal enuresis occurs twice a month for at least a period of three months2,3 – or regular urine leakage during sleep.
Nocturia – constant urge to urinate at night is not urinary incontinence
There is no involuntary loss of urine, so nocturia is not a form of incontinence. Nocturia is the most common cause of sleep disturbances. As previously mentioned, to wake once or twice to pass urine is normal but anything more than this can become tiresome and annoying. If you have symptoms of nocturia, then it would be recommended you contact your GP.
What are the causes of adult enuresis?
Determining the exact causes of bedwetting in adults can be extremely difficult, as enuresis is an indication of an underlying medical condition. The reasons range from genetic predisposition to medical conditions. Psychology, stress, bladder irritants such as alcohol, caffeine and anxiety can also play an important role in adult bedwetting.
Underlying conditions that can lead to enuresis include:
- Urinary stones
- Obstructive sleep apnoea
- Prostate enlargement
- Anatomical abnormalities
- Type I and type II diabetes
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Depending on the findings, some of the following treatments may be offered by the GP:
- Bladder and toilet training in order to better control nocturnal enuresis (urotherapy).
- Pelvic floor training for strengthened pelvic floor muscles
- Electrostimulation and biofeedback
- Antibiotics if caused by UTI
- Fluid & diet advice such as reducing or cutting out caffeine and alcohol.
- Losing weight
For an additional layer of protection, you may also consider using a Bed Mat which is laid on the bed to protect any leakages from reaching the mattress.
Those caring for a person who is incontinent should be aware that the skin can become irritated. In cases where the skin does become irritated it would be recommended to speak to your GP so that a suitable barrier cream recommended. We have an article about "How To Maintain Good Hygiene For Someone You Care For" read it here >>
The various therapy methods and high-quality incontinence products help you and your loved ones to get dry again at night so that nothing stands in the way of a good night’s sleep.