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Medical Causes of Bed-Wetting - Topic Overview

Medical conditions may cause a child to begin wetting the bed after a period of time in which he or she has had bladder control (secondary nocturnal enuresis).

Some medical conditions that may cause bed-wetting include:

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  • Diabetes, especially if the child is urinating more often than normal and/or is more thirsty than normal.
  • Bladder or kidney infections (urinary tract infections), especially if the child is urinating more often than normal and/or complains of pain when urinating. The child may also have accidental wettings or may leak urine (have damp underpants) during the day.
  • Constipation, especially if the child complains of abdominal (belly) pain and has large, hard stools or watery stool leaking from the bowel. Children who have stool less frequently than every 2 days may need to be checked for constipation.
  • Bladder stones (calculi), especially if the child has a weak urine stream and complains of pain.
  • Abnormal activity of the bladder muscle, especially if the child:
    • Urinates more often than normal (frequency).
    • Cannot hold urine when the urge to urinate occurs (urgency).
    • Has leakage of urine.
    • Has pain while urinating.
  • Allergy to bubble bath or soap, especially in young girls. The symptoms may include belly pain, vaginal burning, and redness of the genital area.
  • Infection of the vagina, especially if the girl has discharge from the vagina.
  • Side effect of medicine.
  • Seizures.

    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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