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29th May

World Bedwetting Day

from Sarah Day BA (Hons) SPCHN (SN) RGN - Nurse Advisor, HARTMANN

World Bedwetting Day was started in 2015 by The International Children’s Continence Society (ICCS) and the European Society for Paediatric Urology (ESPU) to raise awareness about this common childhood condition and how it can be managed. Despite being nobody’s fault, bedwetting or nocturnal enuresis can be very distressing for both child and parents. Most children grow out of enuresis but what happens when the condition continues into adulthood or when adults suddenly begin to experience enuresis? 

“We don’t share the same bed any more”, “It’s costing us a fortune”, “We haven’t been on holiday for ages”, “It’s embarrassing, it’s humiliating and I can’t remember the last time I had a decent night’s sleep” are all statements heard in clinic consultations and sometimes contribute to stress, low self-esteem and even depression. Adult bedwetting has rarely been talked about despite affecting many people. In recent years, celebrities like Martin Clunes have helped reduce the stigma surrounding bedwetting by publicly announcing their experiences with enuresis. Worldwide research has helped us know more about the causes of bed-wetting and how to address the problem. However, in adults, onset of enuresis may also be an indication of an underlying illness, such as; urinary tract infection, bladder or prostate cancer, bladder or kidney stones, anatomical abnormalities, neurological conditions, diabetes, or sleep apnoea. Sometimes there can be seemingly no cause at all but all bladder symptoms should be investigated by a medical professional to understand the possible cause and help advise appropriate treatment.

There are also some lifestyle steps that you can try to help reduce the incidence of enuresis:

  • Avoiding beverages with caffeine and alcohol 
  • Limiting beverage consumption in the evening 
  • Maintaining a healthy weight, as excess weight can put pressure on your bladder 
  • Timing when you take diuretic medications so they don’t impact your night-time urine production 
  • Urinating on a set schedule during the day and evening to lessen involuntary urges at night 
  • Setting an alarm at night to allow for timed urination 
  • Strengthening pelvic floor muscles through simple exercises 

Continence doesn’t always respond immediately or completely to treatments. But the right products can help management and reduce embarrassment. You don’t have to cope alone. To qualify for continence products provided by the NHS, you are likely to need to meet criteria set out by your local NHS and if assessed as eligible for continence products, your health professional will explain what is available in your region. 

HARTMANN provides high quality discreet body worn products or bed protection delivered directly to you. For more information, visit HARTMANN Direct (hartmanndirect.co.uk)‎ or call 0800 028 9490. 

Further information on Enuresis can be obtained from; ERIC, Bladder and Bowel UK, Age UK and NHS Choices.