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Bedwetting (cont.)

Is Bladder Training Effective for Bedwetting?

Bladder training exercises: These are useful for adults with bedwetting or other types of urinary incontinence. They do not usually work for children. A recent review of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies (for example, acupuncture, hypnosis, etc.) for bedwetting shows little encouragement for the use of these modalities.

What Follow-up Is Necessary After Treatment of Bedwetting?

For a child with an underlying medical or emotional cause for the bedwetting, the health-care provider will recommend an appropriate treatment for the underlying condition.

  • If the treatment recommendations of the provider are followed closely, the bedwetting will stop in most cases.
  • Keep in mind that for some underlying conditions, such as anatomical problems or emotional problems, the treatment may be complex and take some time.

Children with uncomplicated bedwetting usually "grow out of it" on their own.

  • If you decide to try treatment, try to follow the recommendations of the child's health-care provider.
  • Relapse rates can be high, but retreatment is typically successful.
  • Your child's health-care provider will monitor the child's progress periodically. How often depends on how quickly the bedwetting improves and your comfort level with that rate.
  • Commitment and motivation are needed if the treatment is to be successful.

What Is the Prognosis for Bedwetting?

Bedwetting can damage the child's self-image and confidence. The best way to prevent this is to be supportive. Parents should reassure the child that bedwetting is a common problem and that they, the parents, are confident that the child will overcome the problem. If there is a family history of bedwetting (for example, the child's father), the child should be informed to help lessen any stigma.

Every year, a significant percentage of school-aged children who wet the bed become dry without specific treatment.

It is difficult to estimate the effectiveness of treatment, but cure rates range from 10%-60% with drugs to 70%-90% with alarms and parent awakening.

  • Nearly all bedwetting problems can be cured with single or combination therapy.
  • Some people do, however, need to have long-term drug therapy.
Last Reviewed 11/21/2017
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