Enuresis (bed wetting) is the voluntary or involuntary inability to control the bladder at night—also known as primary nocturnal enuresis. Primary bed wetting refers to bed wetting that has been going on since early childhood without a break. Secondary bedwetting begins later in life.

A type of urinary incontinence, usually referring to involuntary discharge of urine during sleep at night (nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting), such as in a child beyond the age when bladder control should have been achieved. It can occur as a result of such organic conditions as structural defects or infections of the urinary tract, neurologic deficit and resultant loss of control, nocturnal epilepsy, diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus, which increase urine flow, and renal disorders that impair the kidney’s ability to concentrate urine.


Primary bedwetting is usually outgrown and indicates immaturity of the nervous system. The child may not recognize the sensation that the bladder is full. Secondary bedwetting can be due to a combination of factors including urinary tract infection, diabetes, structural abnormality, emotional problems, disturbed sleep patterns, or excessive fluid intake.

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