Men of Honour

Occasional Bedwetting in Adults

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Is it normal for adults to occasionally wet the bed?

It’s normal for children to wet  their beds. This is a sign of immaturity and a developing bladder. An Australian report trying to establish the prevalence of bed wetting (enuresis) in 5–12-year-old Australian children found out that, 19% of these children wet their beds. They also found out that 60% of the bed wetters in the study were men. Bed wetting in children is therefore not regarded a problem unless the child is over 7 years, or the child had stopped wetting the bed and has started all over again after 6 months of dryness.But is occasional bedwetting in adults a normal thing or a concern?

When an adult male or female start wetting the bed it should be a concern. This is usually a sign of a medical condition. Many adults, especially males find it very difficult to talk about something they regard a child thing. The truth is, 2% of the world’s population struggle with occasional bedwetting in adult years.(Enuresis). Being a prevalent problem, the acceptance is a step towards helping yourself. In this article we will discuss the causes and the solutions for this problem.

Table 1: 2% of the adult population occasionally wet their bed.

Understanding Occasional Bedwetting in Adults

If you missed or forgot about those biology classes, don’t worry. We will explain in a lay man’s language. Your kidneys produce urine and pass it on through the ureters to the bladder. The bladder stores urine until is is ready to be passed out of the body through a pipe called the urethra. The bladder can store more than 400ml of urine  and almost double this in men. The need to urinate comes when your bladder is half full.

The ability to control the passing of urine is regulated by the brain and the spinal cord. In babies, the brain as it still develops reacts to a bladder full sign by requesting the bladder to relax hence passing urine. As they grow older, the brain learns to ignore the bladder full signal until there is an opportunity to pee. In the event that they are sleeping, this triggers them to wake up. Failure to voluntarily control the bladder causes the bed wetting problem. The major reason is the muscles releasing urine stops working effectively and fail to contain urine in your bladder.

Causes of Occasional Bedwetting in Adults

Identifying the cause of your bed wetting is very important for your treatment journey. Before treatment, your doctor will want to identify the cause and so should you. The causes are wide and we look at each of them.

1.Heredity

If you are facing occasional bedwetting in adults years problem, the first place to check out is whether there is a history of bed wetting in your family. Sound easier said, than done. How are you going to open up to family that you are bed wetting? Mothers are the easiest people to talk to and it will be easier for you to talk to your mother than your father. Above all, women are likely to talk about their partners (husband) problem than males. Talking to your mother, will help you identify whether this is an hereditary problem or not. Doctor Irene advises that in cases where you can’t talk to your mother, you need to get a close female in the family like an aunt.

2.Hormone imbalance

The anti diuretic hormone controls the amount of urine the kidney produces. High amount of anti diuretic hormone decreases urine production. If  your body doesn’t produce enough of this, the kidney continues to produce more urine even at night. The likelihood of wetting your bed when too much urine is produced is very high and a cause of some of the reported cases of occasional bedwetting in adults. This is usually a symptom of a certain diabetes and consulting a doctor is critical.

3. Overactive Bladder Muscles

An overactive bladder muscle has been found to be the cause of occasional bedwetting in adults 80% of the times. This is a condition characterized by involuntary contraction of the urinary bladder muscles leading to release urine. Stress, menopause and bladder irritants such as alcohol and caffeine can cause overactive bladder muscles. If you are facing this problem and you are in any of this category it is important that you point it out during your visit to a doctor.

4. Medications

Treatment of some problems like insomnia, bipolar disorder can increase your risk to occasional bed wetting at adults age. If you are taking some medication, you need to check for the presence of elements that could be causing irritation to your bladder leading to involuntary incontinence.

5. Other Health Issues

Occasional bedwetting in adults can be a symptom of an underlying problem such as prostate cancer, diabetes, bladder cancer, sleep apnea or even a urinary tract infection. Doctor Irene emphasizes on the importance of getting help from a professional physician as this could save you from an impending life threatening disease.

Determining the cause of occasional bedwetting in adult age

Discovering the cause of your bedwetting is sometimes difficult as it can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. When you visit  a doctor for occasional bedwetting, your doctor will perform below tests:

  • Physical Examination
  • Neurological Examination
  • Urine Tests
  • Urological Examination
  • Ultrasound of kidney and bladder

It will be of great help to your physician if you have kept track of your bedwetting in terms of when it occurs(during the day or at night), the mount of urine, your daily liquid intake or  whether you have had recurring tract infections.

Occasional bedwetting in adults Management

1.Alarms for Occasional Bed Wetting in Adults

When the cause of bed wetting is found to be age related, one of the most effective methods of treatment is a bed wetting alarm. A bed wetting alarm is a device that wakes up someone when wetness is detected.The alarm will use a vibrating sensation or an audible noise.
Continuously waking you up, eventually your body becomes conditioned to waking up the moment a urinating sign is felt, a classic conditioning technique.

Fig1 .1: A Bed Wetting alarm for adults: GleenMed Caregiver Alarm Set Buy Now

This technique requires patience and commitment which can run up to a month before any visible results. The good thing is the adult bed wetting alarms have no side effects. Adults alarms are many and writing about them will make this very long article. I promise to review some and write about them in a different article. However, you can visit the link below to shop for your for your bed wetting alarm.


2.Products to manage occasional bedwetting in adults

There are many management techniques that will help in retaining your dryness or reducing the likelihood of other ailment. You can use mattresses covers, absorbent brief and skin care to help reduce the effect of bed wetting.


3. Tracking occasional bedwetting in adults

One very important task in occasional bedwetting management is tracking your occasional wet moments. Recently that has been made easier by the emergence of technological tools that help you do it.

a)Bedwetting Diary

One of the famous bedwetting diary has been developed by National Association for continence. Download the diary for free here and start tracking your your diet and bladder activity. A bedwetting diary will help you doctor relates your occasional bedwetting with your diet.

Occasional bedwetting in adults
Fig 1.2: Bedwetting Diary Download

b)Occasional Bedwetting in adults Tracking Apps

Many apps exist to help you track you wet nights, but one app caught our attention. The My Dryness Tracker, a free app available in both official stores the App Store and Google Play. If you have used any other app and loved it, please write to us at editor@mohdigest.com and we will be glad to add it here.

Features of this App

occasional bedwetting patient

  • Voiding diaries
  • Treatment progress
  • Bedwetting alarm ordering facility
  • Bedwetting Treatment progress reports

 


About the Author

The writer of this article is a modern male grooming expert. For queries or any stories you might want to feature, you can reach the editor at editor(at)mohdigest.com or leave a comment on the comment section.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Purity

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