Bedwetting is a condition that can afflict all ages, but is more prevalent in the young and the old. In youth, boys tend to be more susceptible than girls. In children it is usually just a developmental stage that must be gotten through. But there are several possible causes of bedwetting in both children and adults.
Even so, bedwetting is considered to be a hereditary condition. Genes have even been identified that likely have to do with bedwetting (ENUR1 and ENUR2). When two parents had wet-the-bed in their youth, there is a 77% chance that each of their off-spring also will. If one parent had the condition then there is a 44% chance. There is only a 15% chance of enuresis in children where neither parent had the problem.1
Developmentally, the age of six is the point at which bedwetting in children should begin to trail off and finally cease. After age six it can become a problem for both psychological and social reasons. The amount of urine expelled during bedwetting in older children can become so great that it overflows diapers and creates problems keeping linen and mattresses clean and sanitary. Also, the psychological effect of late development, especially should peers find out about it, can seem devastating. It can restrict social behavior, such as sleep-overs, and make vacations and long distance travel a problem for families. The expense of diapers and constant washing are also a burden to families.
Solutions for bedwetting or enuresis in children probably should begin to be applied about the time the child reaches their sixth birthday. Any sooner and the child's developmental stage can frustrate the efforts of both parent and child. Many therapies have been developed, including modifying a child's bedtime routine, and using a bedwetting alarm. For children a pharmacological solution to bedwetting is only applied as a last resort, and surgery seldom, unless there is some severe underlying physical problem of which bedwetting might be a mere symptom.
Of course, enuresis in adults can seem even more serious. It can be very disconcerting to have bladder control problems while sleeping with a mate, or while visiting hotels, family, or friends overnight. Of course, diurnal incontinence can be a problem with aging, but can also be from other physical factors.
At the OnBedwetting website we address both child and adult bedwetting. To get complete information on bedwetting and enuresis, simply follow the "next page" link at the bottom of each page. Alternatively, you can drill down to specific information by clicking on a link in the contents above, or at the navbar provided near the top of each page. Read our review of the Malem Bedwetting Alarm and Gail Ann Gross's book Attack of the Wet Knights