In a previous article, we began our discussion with what bedwetting (also known as enuresis) means, it’s various forms, what predisposes one to it, and possible treatments. In this second part, we will consider what an enuresis exam is all about as well as what you can do to reduce the frequency of those nightly oops.

What to Expect During the Enuresis Exam

Seeking the help of a physician will help. When taken in for an examination, the doctor will ask questions relating to the situation. Such questions like:

  1. You and your family’s health history – past and present
  2. Your concerns and questions
  3. Any medications you may be taking
  4. Any allergies that you may have
  5. Sleep patterns
  6. Urinary symptoms
  7. Bowel habits
  8. Stress at home or at school

The visit to the doctor’s office will also likely include a urine culture and urinalysis to look for signs of infection or disease that may be a cause. 

How Can You Reduce the Frequency?

Doctors can do several things to treat bedwetting, depending on what’s causing it. If an illness is responsible, which is not very common, it will be treated. If the history and physical examination do not suggest a specific medical problem and the urine tests are negative, several behavioural approaches can be used for treatment:

  • To prevent an overly full bladder, decrease the amount of fluids you drink before going to bed. You can reduce the chances of wetting the bed by going to the toilet just before bedtime.
  • Avoid eating certain foods in the evening: Foods that can irritate the bladder include coffee, tea, chocolate, and soft drinks or other carbonated beverages containing caffeine.
  • Using a technique called positive imagery, where you think about waking up dry before you go to sleep can help some people stop bedwetting. Some people find that rewarding themselves for waking up dry also works.
  • Use bedwetting alarms. With these alarms, a bell or buzzer goes off when a person begins to wet the bed. Then, you can quickly turn the alarm off, go to the toilet, and go back to sleep without wetting the bed too much. 
  • Sometimes doctors treat enuresis with medications like man-made forms of ADH which helps to decrease urine buildup during the night. Other medications relax the bladder, allowing it to hold more pee.

Don’t get discouraged if these methods don’t help you stop wetting the bed immediately, it can take many weeks for the body to unlearn something it’s been doing for years. Eventually, you can train yourself enough to hold your urine until morning. 

People who sleep very deeply may need to rely on a parent or other family member to wake them up if they don’t hear the alarm. The key to bedwetting alarms is waking up quickly — the sooner a person wakes up, the more effective the behavior modification for telling the brain to wake up or send the bladder signals to hold the urine until the morning.

Adapted from kidshealth.org

See Also: Do You Bedwet? See Answers To All the Questions You Ever Asked