David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP
Dr. Perlstein received his Medical Degree from the University of Cincinnati and then completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at The New York Hospital, Cornell medical Center in New York City. After serving an additional year as Chief Pediatric Resident, he worked as a private practitioner and then was appointed Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is bedwetting?
- What are the types of bedwetting?
- What is primary bedwetting?
- What is the basic problem in primary bedwetting?
- Is primary bedwetting due to emotional problems?
- How is primary bedwetting treated?
- How common is secondary bedwetting?
- What causes secondary bedwetting?
- How is the cause of secondary bedwetting diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for secondary bedwetting?
- What is the outlook (prognosis) for children with bedwetting?
- Bedwetting At A Glance
- Find a local Pediatrician in your town
How common is secondary bedwetting?
Only approximately 2%-3% of all children with bedwetting have a medical cause for the condition.
What causes secondary bedwetting?
Urinary tract infections, metabolic disorders (such as diabetes), external pressure on the bladder (such as from a rectal stool mass), and spinal cord disorders are among the causes of secondary bedwetting.
How is the cause of secondary bedwetting diagnosed?
A complete history and thorough physical examination are central to the initial evaluation of a child with primary bedwetting. A urinalysis and urine culture generally complete the workup. Further laboratory and radiological studies are for the child with secondary bedwetting.
What is the treatment for secondary bedwetting?
Therapy of secondary bedwetting is directed at the primary problem causing the symptom of wetting the bed. As expected, cure rates vary depending on the cause of the loss of control.
What is the outlook (prognosis) for children with bedwetting?
In the medical world of today, both primary and secondary bedwetting can be a manageable condition. Treatment programs can successfully eliminate both parental and patient anxiety, frustration, and embarrassment.
Resources for parents
- Bedwetting is also called nocturnal enuresis.
- There are two types of bedwetting: primary and secondary.
- Primary bedwetting is bedwetting since infancy.
- Primary bedwetting is due to a delay in the maturing of the nervous system.
- Primary bedwetting is an inability to recognize messages sent by the bladder to the sleeping brain.
- The "cure" for primary bedwetting is "tincture (or passage) of time."
- There are a number of interventions including medical and behavioral options.
- Secondary bedwetting is wetting after being dry for at least six months.
- Secondary bedwetting is due to urine infections, diabetes, and other medical conditions.
- All bedwetting is manageable.
- Always speak to your child's physician for guidance.
Last Editorial Review: 3/16/2010
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