‘General’ Category

The Impact of Bedwetting

The Impact of Bedwetting Studies on bedwetting has revealed that it has not just physical impact but also some psychological impact. Based ...


The Impact of Bedwetting

Studies on bedwetting has revealed that it has not just physical impact but also some psychological impact. Based on their studies, many medical personnel and psychologists have reasons to believe that the psychological impact of bedwetting is more serious than the physical aspect of it. Given this, it is important that parents handle it very proficiently to reduce the impact on children. In the opinion of many psychologists, bedwetting also known as sleepwetting or nocturnal enuresis can become a problem or not depending on how the family of the child or the child himself handles the situation. Below are some of the various ways, bedwetting can affect a child.


There is no generally accepted opinion as for whether bedwetting can lower the self esteem of a child. However, several studies have discovered that better management of sleepwetting can improve the self-esteem of a child. This invariable means that if it is not properly managed, the self-esteem of a child will be affected. In fact, the result of the study conducted on this showed bedwetting to bed a stressful life event. According to this study, bedwetting is ranked next to parental fighting which is second to parental divorce in the ranking of most stressful life event among children. In the same study, bedwetting was second to parental fighting in the ranking of most stressful event among adolescents.

The impact on self-esteem results from certain problems faced by bedwetting children. Such problems include but not limited to punishment from parents, teasing from siblings, fear of friends finding out and many more. The severity of psychological harm done on bedwetting depends on whether or not the self-esteem of a child is harmed or whether or not the acquisition of social skills is hampered. The factors that determine this are:

  • how much social activities are limited by bedwetting
  • the extent of social ostracism by peers
  • how attempts that have been made to treat the condition that comes to no avail
  • how long the condition has lasted

Behavioral impact

Besides the impact of self-esteem, nocturnal enuresis can also have some impact on behavior of the child. This normally occurs if bedwetting results in developmental problems. A child who bed wets can also have behavioral problems if he or she has self-esteem issues and stress resulting from the condition. 

Lost of self confidence

Bedwetting can lead to lost of self confidence when it is poorly handled by parents or when punishment is used as a cure to the situation. Punishment as it has been discovered through studies can worsen the condition. This is common among the uneducated parents or parents with only grade-school level education.

Impact on parents

Bedwetting can also affect the parents whose children wet at night during sleep. It increases their laundry owing to soil clothes. It also affects sleep time as result of frequent wakes to take the children to the toilet. Cleaning the house or mopping it so that it will not smell can also be stressful to parents or add to their workload at home. 



Basic Information about Bedwetting


Bedwetting also known as sleepwetting is medically referred to as nocturnal enuresis. It is urinating unknowingly during sleep at an age when one should be able to control one's bladder and bowel movement. Bedwetting among children of certain age is normal and should not call for any concern. It is commonest urologist complaints from parents. It is not a physical or emotional problem but just a development delay. However, it becomes a problem when it continues to a certain age. Such cases are very rare. On estimate, only about 5% to10% of cases of bedwettings results from medical conditions.


Bedwetting is basically of two types, namely, primary bedwetting and secondary bedwetting. Primary bedwetting abbreviated as PNE is the type of bedwetting that occurs when a child has not stayed dry for a prolonged period of time. It is the commonest type and may not require medical attention. Secondary bedwetting occurs when a child or an adult starts wetting the bed at night after staying dry for a long time.  Secondary bedwetting can be caused by some medical condition such as bladder infection. It can also be caused by emotional stress.


As it has been said above, primary bedwetting does not call for a hospital visit. However, it will become a medical problem when a child continues to urinate involuntarily when sleeping at night when the child has reached an age when he is supposed to stop urinating or when he is supposed to sleep without being waken up and taken to the toilet to pee. 


It has been discovered through studies that nocturnal enuresis can as a result of side effect of antipsychotic drugs. Certain diet may also create favorable condition for nocturnal enuresis. Thus, parents should mind the type of food they give their little ones. If a child suffers from constipation after eating a particular food, that food should not be given to the child again because it can make him or her to suffer from bedwetting.


Medical practitioners have different opinion regarding when a child should be able to control his or her bladder during night sleep or should be able to remain dry throughout the night. However, it is a common opinion that a child as from the age of 4 to 5 years should be able to control his bladder during sleep at night. This is the time to diagnose primary enuresis. It is also the age most insurance companies used for PNE. Based on this opinion, a child is said to have primary enuresis when he or she persistently bed-wet during sleep when there is no any known medical, neurological anomaly or urological problems.


On the contrary, some medical personnel are of the opinion that primary bedwetting should be diagnosed when a child has turned 7 years and still bed-wets regularly during night sleep. For these medical practitioners, this is the time primary enuresis can be seen as a clinical problem.


For psychologists, nocturnal enuresis is diagnosed when a child of 5 years and above bed wets at least twice per week for three consecutive months without suffering from any medical condition or taking any medication that may induce such condition.