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Adult Bed Wetting

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 17 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Adult Bed Wetting Enuresis Secondary

Adult bed wetting is an embarrassing condition, but also one that often signals an underlying health concern and therefore should be investigated by a medical professional. Understanding the causes of adult onset bed wetting (also known as secondary enuresis) will better help you prepare for such a visit while reflecting on how this condition has affected your life will allow you to convey to your GP the strain it puts on you. Developing a few coping strategies should also help reduce the instances of bed wetting as well any embarrassment surrounding the issue.

Causes of Adult Bed Wetting

Adult bed wetting is often a symptom of a physical or mental health condition so it is important to think about when your nocturnal enuresis started and if it could be related to other symptoms of a medical condition. Adult bed wetting has been linked to:
  • Aging and a general loss of control of reflexes and the urinary system.
  • Infection, inflammation or stones in the urinary tract.
  • Cancer of the bladder or other area of the urinary system.
  • An undiagnosed neurological disorder.
  • Diabetes.
  • Prostate cancer or enlargement.
  • A side effect of medication, particularly diuretics which encourage encourages urination.
  • Consumption of beverages throughout the day, particularly prior to bed.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Unacknowledged stress or other mental or emotional distress.

Adult Bed Wetting and It’s Effects on Your Life

Aside from being an embarrassment, adult bed wetting can add stresses and strains to an individual’s life in a variety of ways. Communicating how this condition has affected your life should motivate your GP to carry out necessary tests and find a diagnosis and treatment. Many people suffering from secondary enuresis must cope with:
  • An inability to sleep in the same bed as a partner or spouse.
  • Curtailing travel for fear of being exposed.
  • Being forced to use bed wetting pads or rubber sheets.
  • Sleeping in disposable undergarments or with removable pads in case of accidents.
  • Interrupting sleep in order to urinate and attempt to avoid accidents.
  • Increased laundry requirements due to soiled pyjamas and sheets.
  • Increased cost of replacing bedclothes and mattresses more frequently.
  • Feeling of shame, anger or of being a failure.

Coping Strategies for Adult Bed Wetting

When adult bed wetting is due to an underlying health concern there may be targeted treatments available to help cure or at least curtail it. There are also coping strategies any adult coping with nocturnal enuresis can try in order to alleviate this condition. Many individuals have had success in lessening the frequency of bed wetting by:
  • Limiting beverage consumption in the evening.
  • Taking medication with a diuretic effect during the day.
  • Avoiding caffeinated beverages at all times, but particularly in the evening.
  • Urinating on a set schedule during the day and evening to lessen involuntary urges at night.
  • Setting an alarm at night to allow for timed urination.
  • Consuming alcohol in moderation at all times, day or night.
Bed wetting may be an important clue to a physical or mental health concern, but it is also embarrassing for many adults. Understanding what could be causing your nocturnal enuresis, how it is affecting your life and if there are any common coping strategies you could employ to lessen the frequency of bed wetting should all help you better control and treat this condition.

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Danielle92 - Your Question:
I recently mustered the courage to tell my mother I wear nappies to bed due to my bed wetting the last few weeks. She was ok with it, no judgement at all especially that we both work in healthcare. It was embarrassing to tell her but all was fine. Due to kidney problems I have currently been referred to consultants in Preston as I had kidney failure 3 years ago but every test has been done and they cannot find the rootof the problem but my bed wetting is getting worse but also during the day as I seem to wet quite frequently, so I wear pads during the day. Seems to only be worse at night so I'm having to wear the nappies in bed. Hopefully there is something that can be done. Fingers crossed. But is it wrong that I'm actually starting to like the feel of them when I go to bed? I don't know, but I just feel wrong about it.

Our Response:
Let's hope the root cause of the problem can be established. Don't worry about what you're feeling - there are no rights and wrongs, you probably just feel reassured that if you do wet yourself at night, you know that the nappies will contain it.
EmbarrassingIssues - 18-Aug-17 @ 2:32 PM
I recently mustered the courage to tell my mother I wear nappies to bed due to my bed wetting the last few weeks. She was ok with it, no judgement at all especially that we both work in healthcare. It was embarrassing to tell her but all was fine. Due to kidney problems I have currently been referred to consultants in Preston as I had kidney failure 3 years ago but every test has been done and they cannot find the root of the problem but my bed wetting is getting worse but also during the day as I seem to wet quite frequently, so I wear pads during the day. Seems to only be worse at night so I'm having to wear the nappies in bed. Hopefully there is something that can be done. Fingers crossed. But is it wrong that I'm actually starting to like the feel of them when I go to bed? I don't know, but I just feel wrong about it.
Danielle92 - 17-Aug-17 @ 10:16 AM
Danielle1992 - Your Question:
I'm 24 years old. As a child I used to be a chronic bed wetter. My mum used to take me to the doctors who diagnosed kidney problems and I was heavily monitored. For years this problem went on, until I was around 18 it stopped. I reached the age of 20 and suddenly I was going into renal failure which started off my bed wetting again. I've tried everything I can to try and stop this from happening and nothing works, but unfortunately that's down to having kidney problems. Over the last few months this problem has been ongoing and as much as I didn't want to, I bought myself some disposable nappies. I've woken up a few times in the morning wet, but I have to admit they're working just fine and saving my bed. The hardest part is keeping the whole thing secret as it feels humiliating that I'm 24 and having to wear nappies to bed. I'm still living at home at the moment and working 3 jobs which is stressful but I do dread of wetting the bed when I've ran out of nappies. The amount of times I run down the stairs with my wet nappy wrapped up in a black carrier back and quickly put it in the bin so my mum doesn't find out. I just wish I could tell her without feeling like a complete fool.

Our Response:
Please do tell take action, even if it is only telling your mum. Make an appointment with your GP, ask what treatments are available - there should be some other help there for you if it's kidney related.
EmbarrassingIssues - 10-Aug-17 @ 12:18 PM
I'm 24 years old. As a child I used to be a chronic bed wetter. My mum used to take me to the doctors who diagnosed kidney problems and I was heavily monitored. For years this problem went on, until I was around 18 it stopped. I reached the age of 20 and suddenly I was going into renal failure which started off my bed wetting again. I've tried everything I can to try and stop this from happening and nothing works, but unfortunately that's down to having kidney problems. Over the last few months this problem has been ongoing and as much as I didn't want to, I bought myself some disposable nappies. I've woken up a few times in the morning wet, but I have to admit they're working just fine and saving my bed. The hardest part is keeping the whole thing secret as it feels humiliating that I'm 24 and having to wear nappies to bed. I'm still living at home at the moment and working 3 jobs which is stressful but I do dread of wetting the bed when I've ran out of nappies. The amount of times I run down the stairs with my wet nappy wrapped up in a black carrier back and quickly put it in the bin so my mum doesn't find out. I just wish I could tell her without feeling like a complete fool..
Danielle1992 - 9-Aug-17 @ 4:03 PM
I'm in bed with a bug at the minute , drinking a lot of fluids as a adult bed wetter I don't mind id rather have a wet nappy than a wet bed.
molicare - 28-Jun-16 @ 2:11 PM
I didn't have any disposables tonight. So I used a terry and plastic pants , just woke up soaking im going to have to change , normally I sleep all night with a disposable.i find disposables the best.
molicare - 26-Aug-15 @ 12:53 AM
I'm an 18 year old female. I have struggled with bed wetting my entire life. I'm in a very committed relationship and am trying to move in with my significant other. I really want to and feel like I am emotionally ready except for.. My little issue. My mom would take me to the doctor all the time for this and was always told I would grow out of it. As j got older they would tell me to set alarms throughout the night so I could take bathroom breaks. It worked for a couple weeks until I started wetting before my alarms went off. I am able to go a few days maybe even a couple of weeks with out an incident, but after that period of time it happens again, and for many night nights consecutively. I need help!
Monse - 6-Jul-15 @ 6:30 PM
As a adult bed wetter I always know when I wake up in the morning I'll have a dry bed as I wear nappies and plastic pants and have a rubber sheet on as well.I can stay anywhere knowing this , its not a big deal anymore telling someone else .I use disposables I find them great.I stayedsomewhere recently I let them know in advance of my bed wetting , it wasn't a problem at all for them, .
molicare - 25-Mar-15 @ 4:53 PM
Thanks @Molicare for sharing, hopefully this will help our other readers.
EmbarrassingIssues - 31-Oct-14 @ 11:22 AM
A while back I stayed somewereI was nervous about telling the owner aboutmy bed wetting , I plucked up the courage and told them it wasn't a problem , other than they had to put a mattress protector on the bed I told them I wore nappies it wasn't a problem. Now when I go anywhere I let them know in advance.
molicare - 31-Oct-14 @ 12:38 AM
@wet by morning. Thank you for letting us know about your own experiences, we're sure other readers will be grateful to know that it's not the end of the world.
EmbarrassingIssues - 17-Jul-14 @ 2:26 PM
I was a chronic bedwetter as a kid and throughout my teens. I wasn't reliably dry at night until my early 20's. I started wetting the bed again just after I turned 50 and now wet most nights just as I did years ago. I have had all the tests dome and at least I wasn't told I would grow out of it this time although I have to accept I will always wet the bed now. I have some nerve damage due to diabetes, combined with an unstable bladder and an enlarged prostate. Medication helps but does not cure the problem. I do get pads supplied by the NHS and wear these and incontinence pants to bed at night and pads and net pants during the day. At first I was very upset about it all but have come to accept my incontinence now and just get on with life. I have to say bedwetting isn't the end of the world.
Wet by Morning - 16-Jul-14 @ 8:10 PM
I started to wet the bed at 7 or 8 as my mother was a nurse I was brought to the doctor I was told id grow out of it .the next thing was nappies cloth ones and plastic pants untill i was 12 and still wetting i wasput in disposables then for another year or more and then i stopped.i started to wet again when i was in my twenties i got adult nappies and didn't tell anybody ,untill one day I came home and my mother said I see your wetting the bed again she had found my adult nappies in my room i saidi was she said you haven't a rubber sheet on the bed she told me to see a doctor i said i would.my mother went into townand I went to see some friends I came home some time later and my mother was gone to bed, I headed up to my roomand there was a pack of nappies andmy bed was made i pulled down the bedspreadand there was a rubber sheet on and since then its been nappies.
molicare - 24-Jun-14 @ 1:17 PM
I'm a bed wetter in my forties I use nappies ,im going to stay in a b@b and im nervous about telling the owner my problem.
molicare - 24-Jun-14 @ 4:54 AM
Hi, im 21 years old and have wet the bed all my life, I've been to the drs countless times bu Lt never really had any tests just given the usual nonsense of you will grow out of it, and given alarms, and medication, i don't really drink alcohol, or tea and coffee. this problem is really effecting my life and just need help
c - 4-Oct-13 @ 8:37 AM
Hi allI am a 40 year old male how has wet the bed on and off all my life and I leak in the day I do under stand that y I did this in the past was because of drink not managing the problem but now I am 40 I need to get a grip of it.For the last year I have been doing every thing I can think of the manage this problem ie no beer not drinks after 9pm going to the bathroom befor bet setting my alarm for 3am to get up and go to the bathroom. Most of the time this works well it's gone down from 3/4 times a week to 1/2 times a week so I think this is manageable. But for the last 38 years I have been trying to hide it from every one and concentrating on only that but now I am thinking of how it happens not how to manage it so I need you help.I have notesed that when I wake up mid flow or then I have to hold it for a long time my willy is hard or hard way on the way is this y I my bladder empties ??If it is how do I manage it (drugs it keep it down when I do not need it) ??
Woody - 3-Dec-11 @ 12:01 PM
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