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What is Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis?

Waking up in a soggy bed after being dry for months can be a big shock for some children.  But fortunately, for many kids, secondary nocturnal enuresis is a temporary setback, possibly triggered by a stressful event such as starting school, moving house, travelling or even attending a sleepover with friends.

In only a small number of cases secondary nocturnal enuresis - bedwetting again after six or more months of dry nights – is caused by a medical problem or a serious psychological issue.

The exact cause of secondary bedwetting is unknown. In some children there is no apparent reason for bedwetting again after they’ve learnt to control their bladders at nighttime. But some of the common causes of secondary nocturnal enuresis are thought to be:

Stressful events or incidents, good and bad, such as:

  • The birth of a new brother or sister
  • Problems at school, such as bullying, teasing, or being left out by friends
  • Moving to a new house
  • A new and scary experience such as flying overseas
  • Starting school or changing schools
  • Death of a much-loved pet or family member
  • Loss of a favourite toy
  • Mum and Dad arguing or separating
  • Sexual abuse

Physical conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Overproduction of hormone by the thyroid gland
  • A seizure disorder such as epilepsy
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Overtiredness resulting in deeper than usual sleep
  • Constipation – the full bowel presses on the bladder, forcing it to leak in the night

Talk to your GP about secondary nocturnal enuresis

Sometimes there are other symptoms, but this is not always the case. Take your child to your GP for a thorough checkup to rule out any physical reasons for their secondary bedwetting, and/or to discuss any psychological disturbances that might be causing it.

Treatments for secondary nocturnal enuresis

First, talk it over with your child. They might have a few ideas themselves as to why they’re wetting the bed again. Ask them about any problems with school, friends or family. Encourage them to open up and discuss what might be worrying them. Then work on the solutions together.

  • Also try the bedwetting solutions given for primary nocturnal enuresis.
  • Make sure your little one has an established bedtime routine, is going to bed at an early hour and is getting enough sleep.

Author Box

DryNites website specialises in bedwetting and understands how difficult this time can be for both parents and children. Check out the website for more information on enuresis, self-esteem in children and read others bedwetting stories. Grab a free sample of DryNites Bedwetting Pyjama Pants or get all the information on bedwetting. Visit www.drynites.co.nz.