I wet the bed every night and wear diapers. I can’t have sleepovers or go to overnight camp, but my parents don’t want to do anything about it. How can I stop bedwetting and convince my parents to help?
“Nocturnal enuresis” (pronounced “knock-turn-all en-your-ree-sis”) is the medical word for wetting the bed at night. This can be an embarrassing problem for teens and can prevent participation in certain activities. It’s hard to stop on your own though, because your bladder (the organ that holds the urine) seems to have a mind of its own. Normally, the bladder sends a signal to the brain to let it know that it’s full. The brain then sends a signal back to the bladder to prevent it from releasing urine (pee) until the person is able to get to a bathroom. With nocturnal enuresis, the bladder just releases urine during the night. There’s no one cause for this, but it can be related to; being a very sound sleeper, having another family member that has had the same problem, or occasionally a medical problem.
There are two kinds of nocturnal enuresis; primary and secondary. A teen with the primary kind has wet their bed since they were little. A teen with the secondary kind started having trouble with bedwetting at least 6 months or many years after they had been dry at night.
First, let your parents know that wetting the bed really bothers you. Aside from having to change the sheets, etc, it’s affecting your social life. Ask to make an appointment with your health care provider. Having your parent(s) or guardian(s) involved in your treatment plan will likely be necessary, so they should be with you to talk about treatment options. Current treatment for nocturnal enuresis typically includes the use of a special alarm, and if needed, medication. Remember, you’re not alone. There is help for your condition!
Most health care providers suggest trying the following:
- Limit the amount of fluids you drink in the evening – no fluids after 6pm
- Avoid caffeine, especially in the evening (ex. no coffee or soda)
- Void (pee) before you go to sleep