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Bed-Wetting - What Happens

Bed-wetting is common in young children. Children grow and develop at different rates, and bladder control is achieved at an individual pace. Usually, daytime bladder control occurs before nighttime control.

Children may wet the bed several times during the night, and they may not wake up after wetting.

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Primary nocturnal enuresis—bed-wetting that continues past the age that most children have nighttime bladder control—will usually stop over time without treatment. If a medical condition is causing the bed-wetting, treating the condition may stop the wetting.

Treatment often does not completely stop bed-wetting, but it may reduce how often it occurs. Although bed-wetting may return when treatment is stopped, repeating or combining treatments may have longer-lasting results.

Sometimes bed-wetting is related to emotional stress. Bed-wetting usually stops when the stress is relieved or managed.

The emotional responses to bed-wetting can impact the relationship with your child. If you or your child is having difficulty with handling bed-wetting, you may wish to find out about treatment options.

Some children who wet the bed also experience accidental daytime wetting. When wetting occurs during both the day and night, usually the things related to the daytime wetting are explored first.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 24, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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