Secondary Enuresis

YOU’RE ONE STEP CLOSER ON YOUR JOURNEY TO DRY NIGHTS

Secondary enuresis, also known as secondary nocturnal enuresis, is one of two types of bedwetting. Unlike the most common type,  nocturnal enuresis, secondary enuresis occurs when the child has been dry for a consecutive period of six months or more and then begins wetting the bed again.

The cause of bedwetting for a child who has always wet the bed is usually fairly common bladder development delays, amongst other causes, which generally iron themselves out over time.

Secondary Enuresis
WHAT CAUSES SECONDARY ENURESIS?

Causes of secondary enuresis vary and tend to fall into one of two categories; emotional and physiological. In most cases the trigger will not be a medical issue.

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI): UTIs can cause frequent urination and/or the need to urinate urgently in the sufferer. A simple urine test will help identify an infection, which can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.
  • Diabetes: Frequent urination is a symptom of type 1 diabetes. Your doctor will be able to run tests in order to figure out if this is the problem.
  • Neurological abnormalities: Even a slight imbalance in the nervous system can cause secondary enuresis.
  • Constipation: Blockages in the rectum can put pressure on the bladder and reduce its capacity to store urine overnight.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: OSA can result in increased nighttime urine production, which can lead to a return to bedwetting.
  • Emotional stress: Big changes in a child’s life can cause emotional stress, which is a common trigger for bedwetting.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD IS SUFFERING FROM SECONDARY ENURESIS

There are a number of things you can do if your child has started wetting the bed again.

  • Talk to your child, and try to think of anything that changed around the time the bedwetting started again, as a team. Write down all possibilities to discuss with your child and their GP.
  • Note whether your child is displaying any other sign of stress, such as irritability, headaches, outbursts or tantrums which are out of character, crying, or social withdrawal.
  • If you suspect a medical condition, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible and have your child undergo the required tests. It’s usually a good idea to rule out a medical problem anyway, even if you strongly suspect it’s a psychological cause.
SECONDARY ENURESIS TREATMENT

Treatment for secondary enuresis will depend on the cause. Some medical conditions, such as UTIs are easy fixes and will usually disappear with a course of antibiotics, while others may be more serious.

Bedwetting caused by emotional stress can sometimes be a little trickier to deal with and your child may need to speak to a counsellor. Less traumatic stress triggers, such as anxiety about school exams or moving house, generally sort themselves out over time, but it’s still important to be supportive and try to help ease their anxiety.

You should always consult your child’s GP for guidance on how to treat secondary enuresis.