What is bed-wetting at night?

Bed-wetting at night is not a problem that only affects children and seniors. It can also occur in adults without other medical conditions.
Some adults have never been completely dry since childhood, while others have a sudden return of incontinence. The causes are very variable. Those affected often also suffer from psychological problems due to incontinence and have difficulty maintaining social contacts. Bed-wetting at night is a recognized disease for which health insurance companies pay for aids. In contrast to children, spontaneous improvement is rare.

Also read: Urinary Incontinence - These are the Causes!

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What are the causes of bedwetting at night?

The causes of bedwetting at night can be very different. One possibility is the lack of or delay in the conscious awareness of a full bladder during sleep. A deficiency in ADH, the antidiuretic hormone, is also possible. This hormone, in sufficient concentration, reduces the production of urine during the night.

An overactive bladder can also lead to bed wetting, as the controlling control of consciousness is lost at night. If there are no physical causes, psychological problems should also be clarified.

You might also be interested in: Urination to urinate from an overactive bladder

Night-time bed-wetting from alcohol

Alcohol is a poison that affects many body functions. Bed-wetting after consuming alcoholic beverages is particularly common among adolescents, as the body is not yet able to cope with the new exposure to alcohol.
Bed-wetting after consuming alcohol has three main reasons. The first reason is that alcohol affects the body's natural hormone production. One of these hormones is the antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which reduces urine production at night. The body therefore produces more urine than on other nights and the bladder capacity is no longer sufficient to urinate in the morning.
Another reason is the detoxification function of the liver and kidneys. The alcohol puts more strain on the kidneys and liver, which can lead to increased urine production and a weaker bladder. The last reason is the influence of alcohol on the nervous system.The control of the bladder is subject to the brain, which can be restricted in its function by the alcohol. So the body no longer perceives that the bladder is full and there is no waking stimulus. If bed-wetting occurs even with small amounts of alcohol, a urological evaluation should be carried out. In most cases the disorder subsides as you get used to the new exposure, but the most effective therapy is to abstain from alcohol.

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You might also be interested in: Effect of alcohol - influence on the various organs

Bed-wetting at night due to psychological causes

After ruling out the physical causes of bed-wetting at night, a look at the life situation of the person concerned should be taken.
If it occurs suddenly in adulthood, a stressful family situation or a stressful work environment is a possible cause. Traumatic experiences, such as sexual abuse in childhood, can also be a possible cause. In this case, psychologically accompanied processing of the experiences can help to improve the situation.

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  • psychotherapy
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Symptoms of bed-wetting at night

Strictly speaking, bedwetting at night is not an independent disease, but rather a symptom of many other diseases.
For many people with a physical cause, bladder weakness occurs first and they have to go to the toilet more often, especially at night. Bed-wetting at night does not occur until later.
Other stress-induced symptoms are also possible with psychological causes. Those affected may sweat more and show nervous behavior. A change in personality is also possible. Affected withdraw. Adult bedwettingers often seek excuses not to go on camping trips or business trips together.
Older men who wet themselves because of prostatic hyperplasia can frequently urinate with small amounts of urine during the day. Other symptoms are related to the specific cause of bed wetting. In the case of anatomical development disorders, bladder infections can increase. A lowered uterus can lead to a prolapse of the uterus and women often suffer from bladder weakness during the day. The symptoms are as varied as the causes.

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What helps against bedwetting at night?

In contrast to children, spontaneous healing is very rare in adult bedwettingers.
Diapers and documents are paid for by the health insurance companies if the diagnosis is made, but they are only an aid and not a cure. In addition to classic diapers, there are incontinence underwear that looks like normal underwear from the outside and makes business trips possible. In the case of psychological causes, psychotherapy and the reduction of stress can already mean relief or healing. However, in these cases, recurrence is likely under stressful conditions.
If there is a deficiency in the antidiuretic hormone, drug therapy with artificial ADH can help the person concerned. If you sleep too deeply, doorbell mats can help. These mats or pads measure moisture and wake the person up when they see urine. Avoiding alcohol and beverages containing caffeine can also prevent bedwetting, as these substances have a urinary effect and can therefore be an additional factor in bedwetting. In extreme cases, operations are possible in the case of anatomical malformations. This particularly affects women with a lowered uterus or men with an enlarged prostate.

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Diapers when urinating at night

For many sufferers, diapers are the only permanent solution.
In the event of a medical diagnosis, these diapers are also paid for by the health insurance companies. In the absence of a diagnosis, adult diapers can be a financial burden for those affected. Since diapers are often associated with feelings of shame and stress in a partnership, incontinence pants are an alternative. From the outside, these look like normal underwear and could therefore also be worn in front of other people.

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Diagnosis of bed-wetting at night

Many affected people feel ashamed to see a doctor at the beginning. Both the family doctor and the urologist can make the diagnosis.
This usually takes place solely through the story of the person concerned. In addition, various examinations can be scheduled to find the cause and to rule out possible physical causes. An official diagnosis can provide relief for the person concerned, as the aids such as diapers or documents are then paid for by the health insurance companies.

Nocturnal urination prognosis

The likelihood of the symptoms regressing on their own is rather low in adults.
In the case of psychological problems, removing the cause can at least temporarily lead to an improvement. The only safe solution for anatomical disorders is an operation.
Others are almost always dependent on medical aids or medication for life. In the case of alcohol-induced bed-wetting, it makes sense to refrain from alcohol, but it may also improve with age.

What are the gender differences when urinating at night?

Both men and women can suffer from bedwetting even in adulthood. However, some causes are specific to one gender.
In women, a relatively common reason for incontinence is pelvic floor weakness with a sagging bladder after giving birth. Surgery can help these women when they are under a lot of stress.
In older men, benign prostate enlargement, which affects many men, leads to bladder weaknesses. Affected men often have to go to the toilet and cannot empty it completely. Regular bladder infections can lose the feeling of urinating at night.

Women are significantly more likely to suffer from incontinence than men because the pelvic floor is larger and less stable. Mental illnesses are also somewhat more common in women and represent a risk factor for bedwetting at night. However, women are also more likely to seek medical help, while men are more ashamed and try to ignore the disease. In old age, physical changes lead to increased incontinence in both sexes.

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  • Urge incontinence in men
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  • Pelvic floor training

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