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Bedwetting in Teens: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions


Bedwetting in teens is a common issue that many parents and teenagers face. While it can be frustrating and embarrassing for both parties, it is important to understand that bedwetting is a normal part of growing up and that there are ways to manage and even overcome it.

Prior to now, you may have been finding it difficult to relate with your bedwetting teenager, giving them support, but not anymore.

In this article, you will see the probable causes of bedwetting, how to manage it, and what parents and children can do to alleviate the issue.

What Is Bedwetting?

Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is simply the involuntary release of urine during sleep. It is a common condition that affects many children and teenagers.

Bedwetting in teens can have a significant impact on their emotional well-being, social life, and self-esteem. Understanding the causes and symptoms of bedwetting in teens is crucial in managing the condition effectively.

In fact, studies show that approximately 15% of children aged five years old and 5% of teenagers experience bedwetting. While the exact causes of bedwetting are unknown, there are several factors that may contribute to the condition.

Causes Of Bedwetting


Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is a common condition that affects people of all ages, including teenagers. While bedwetting is most common among young children, it can also occur in adolescents and young adults. Understanding the causes of bedwetting in teenagers is essential in managing the condition effectively.

The several potential causes of bedwetting in teens include:

Hormonal Imbalances:

The first culprit of bedwetting in teens is hormonal imbalance. During puberty, the body goes through significant hormonal changes that can affect bladder control. 

Hormones play a crucial role in regulating the kidneys and bladder and as teenagers experience growth spurts, their hormone levels change, and this can result in reduced bladder capacity or the inability to wake up in response to the need to urinate.

Small Bladder Capacity:

The next probable cause for bedwetting in teens is the bladder. Some teenagers may have smaller bladder capacities than others, which can result in them having to empty their bladder more frequently during the night. This can lead to bedwetting, particularly if the teenager is unable to wake up in response to the need to urinate.

Sleep Disorders:

Certain sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, can lead to bedwetting in teens. 

Sleep apnea is a condition where a person stops breathing for short periods during sleep, while restless leg syndrome is a condition where a person experiences uncomfortable sensations in their legs, making it difficult to sleep.


Bedwetting in teens can also be hereditary, so if one or both parents experienced bedwetting as a child, it is more likely that their child will experience it too.

Studies have shown that children who have at least one parent who experienced bedwetting as a child have a higher likelihood of developing bedwetting themselves.

Emotional Stress:

Teenagers who experience high levels of stress, anxiety, or depression may be more likely to experience bedwetting.

Also read: Dealing With Stress As A New Mom

Emotional stress can lead to an overactive bladder or increase the likelihood of experiencing a sleep disorder that can cause bedwetting in teens.

Urinary Tract Infections:

Infections in the urinary tract can cause discomfort and increase the need to urinate, which can lead to bedwetting. Urinary tract infections can be treated with antibiotics, and addressing the underlying infection can resolve bedwetting in teens.


Chronic constipation can put pressure on the bladder, leading to bedwetting in teens. The pressure on the bladder can result in an overactive bladder or lead to difficulties in controlling urination.

Neurological Issues:

In some cases, bedwetting in teenagers can be caused by neurological issues that affect the communication between the bladder and the brain. Neurological conditions such as spina bifida or spinal cord injury can result in bedwetting in teenagers.

Symptoms of Bedwetting in Teenagers


Although bedwetting is often associated with young children, it can occur in adolescents and young adults. Understanding the symptoms of bedwetting in teens is essential in managing the condition effectively.

The most obvious symptom of bedwetting in teens is wetting the bed during the night. However, bedwetting can also be accompanied by other symptoms, including:

Disrupted Sleep:

Bedwetting can lead to disrupted sleep, which can affect a teenager’s overall health and well-being. A teenager who experiences bedwetting may wake up frequently during the night to change their sheets or clothes, which can lead to a lack of restful sleep.

Emotional Imbalance:

Bedwetting can also have an emotional impact on teenagers. Bedwetting teens may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their bedwetting, which can lead to anxiety, low self-esteem, and social isolation.

Skin Irritation:

Frequent exposure to urine can irritate the skin, leading to rashes, itching, or discomfort. Teenagers who experience bedwetting may need to take extra precautions to keep their skin clean and dry to avoid skin irritation.

Unusual Sleeping Positions:

Teenagers who experience bedwetting may adopt unusual sleeping positions to avoid wetting the bed. 

For example, they may sleep on their stomach or with their legs crossed, which can affect their overall sleep quality and lead to discomfort.

Increased Urinary Frequency:

Some teenagers who experience bedwetting may have an increased need to urinate during the day. This increased frequency can be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as a urinary tract infection or an overactive bladder.


Bedwetting can affect a teenager’s overall energy levels, leading to fatigue and reduced productivity during the day.

It’s important to note that bedwetting in teenagers is often a natural part of growing up and is not usually a cause for concern. 

However, if bedwetting is persistent or accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain or discomfort, it may be an indication of an underlying health issue that requires medical attention.

How to Approach Your Teenager About Bedwetting: Tips for Parents


Bedwetting can be a sensitive topic to discuss with teenagers, but it’s important for parents to approach the subject with empathy and understanding. 

Here are some tips for parents on how to approach their teenagers about bedwetting:

Initiate the Conversation:

As a parent, you would need to start a conversation, letting your teen know that you are concerned about their bedwetting and that you want to help. 

It’s important to approach the conversation in a non-judgmental and empathetic way. To do this, you can acknowledge that bedwetting can be frustrating, but also reassure your teenager that it’s a common issue that can be resolved.

Offer Support:

Let your teenager know that they are not alone in this experience and that you are there to support them. 

Reassure them that bedwetting is not their fault and that you are willing to help them find a solution. Encourage them to talk openly about their feelings and any concerns they may have.

Educate Them:

As a good parent, you should ensure to educate your teenager about bedwetting and its causes. 

Also read: Cognitive Development In Teens 2023

Explain that it’s a common problem that affects many teenagers and that it’s often due to factors beyond their control, such as a small bladder, deep sleep, or hormonal changes. 

Let them know that there are various strategies for managing bedwetting (which you would learn here), and that with the right approach, it can be effectively treated.

Discuss Treatment Options:

Discussing various treatment options with bedwetting teens gives them hope. Also discuss limiting fluid intake before bedtime, establishing a consistent bedtime routine, using bedwetting alarms, medication, counseling, and seeking medical evaluation if necessary. Encourage your teenager to participate in choosing the best approach that suits their needs.

Avoid Blaming or Shaming:

There has never been a time when blame games or shaming people solves any problem. 

Hence, you should avoid blaming or shaming your teenager for bedwetting. And this is because it can cause them to feel embarrassed, ashamed, and reluctant to seek help. 

Instead, focus on positive reinforcement for dry nights and offer support and encouragement for progress made toward managing bedwetting.

Provide Practical Support:

You can provide practical support to help your teenager manage bedwetting. This can include purchasing bedwetting alarms, ensuring they have clean and dry bedding and clothing, and helping them establish a consistent bedtime routine.

Follow Up:

And the last tip for you as a parent is that you ensure to follow up with your teenager regularly to check on their progress and offer ongoing support. It may take time to find the right approach, so it’s important to be patient and supportive.

Managing Bedwetting In Teens


Managing bedwetting in teens can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, it can be effectively managed. 

And in this article, you get a good insight into how to manage bedwetting in teens. And given below are some strategies for managing bedwetting in teens:

Limit Fluid Intake:

Encouraging limited fluid intake before bedtime can reduce the likelihood of bedwetting in teens. But it is also important to note that dehydration can be harmful to a teenager’s health, so it’s essential to find a balance between adequate hydration and limiting fluid intake before bedtime.

Bedtime Routine:

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can help train a teenager’s body to recognize when it’s time to sleep and reduce the likelihood of bedwetting. 

A bedtime routine for your teen can include activities such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to relaxing music.

Bedwetting Alarms:

Technology can also play a role in managing bedwetting in teens. Bedwetting alarms are devices that emit a loud sound when a teenager begins to wet the bed. The aim of the alarm is to wake the teenager up before they fully wet the bed, allowing them to get up and use the bathroom.

Bedwetting alarms can be highly effective, with studies showing that up to 75% of children who use an alarm become dry within three months. 

Hence, bedwetting alarms can be an effective tool in training a teenager’s body to recognize when it’s time to wake up to use the bathroom.


In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage bedwetting in teens. Medication can help reduce the amount of urine produced during the night or relax the bladder muscles, reducing the likelihood of bedwetting.

Supportive Environment:

Creating a supportive environment for teenagers who experience bedwetting can help reduce their stress and anxiety. 

Hence, as a parent, you should create a safe and supportive environment by avoiding criticism or punishment for bedwetting incidents and instead offering positive reinforcement for dry nights.

Medical Evaluation:

If bedwetting persists despite efforts to manage it, a medical evaluation may be necessary to identify any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the problem.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Bedwetting in Teenagers: A Guide for Parents


Bedwetting is a common issue among teenagers, but in some cases, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. As a parent, it’s important to know when to seek medical attention for your teenager’s bedwetting. Here’s a guide to help you understand when medical attention may be necessary:


Bedwetting is considered normal in younger children, but if it continues beyond the age of seven or eight, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. If your teenager is experiencing bedwetting beyond this age, it may be time to consult a healthcare professional.


If your teenager is experiencing bedwetting frequently, such as multiple times a week, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Hence, it is important to keep track of the frequency and duration of bedwetting to help determine if medical attention is needed.

Painful Urination:

If your teenager is experiencing pain or discomfort while urinating, it may be a sign of a urinary tract infection or other medical condition.

In such cases, it’s important to seek medical attention to identify and treat any underlying conditions.

Family History:

If bedwetting runs in the family, it may be a sign of an inherited medical condition. In such cases, it’s important to seek medical attention to identify and address any underlying conditions.

If any of the above factors are present, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional. A healthcare provider can conduct a physical exam and order tests to help determine the underlying cause of bedwetting in teenagers.

Depending on the diagnosis, treatment options may include medication, therapy, or surgery.

Final Thoughts On Bedwetting In Teens

Bedwetting in teenagers can be a challenging and emotional experience for both teens and parents. However, with proper understanding and management techniques, it is possible to overcome this issue and lead a healthy and confident life.

In conclusion, you should approach a bedwetting teenager in a supportive and understanding manner, and avoid shaming or blaming them for the condition.

It’s important to understand the causes and symptoms of bedwetting and to seek medical attention when necessary.

There are a variety of management techniques that can be used, such as behavioral changes, medication, and therapy.

We encourage parents to share this information with other parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals to spread awareness and support for teenagers experiencing bedwetting.

With understanding and support, we can help teenagers overcome bedwetting and achieve their full potential.

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