Urinary incontinence (enuresis) is the medical term for bed-wetting. The different types of bed-wetting that may occur include:

  • Diurnal enuresis -- the involuntary voiding of urine during the day.
  • Nocturnal enuresis -- an unintentional voiding of urine during sleep.
  • Persistent primary nocturnal enuresis -- urinary incontinence that occurs at night.
  • Adult onset secondary enuresis -- the re-emergence of nighttime incontinence.


There are many factors and theories that may be involved. Some of the possible reasons include:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Neurological disorders
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urinary tract stones
  • Acute anxiety or other emotional disorders


Urinary incontinence (enuresis) is usually diagnosed based on a complete medical history and physical examination. Your doctor may perform the following to help rule out other causes:

  • Urine tests (to make sure there is not an underlying infection, or condition such as diabetes)
  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Blood tests


Specific treatment for enuresis will be determined based on:

  • Overall health and medical history
  • Extent of the condition
  • Tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the condition


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Millions of Americans experience urinary incontinence. Are there treatment options for you?