The condition of bedwetting refers to involuntary urination during sleep beyond the typical age at which this behavior usually stops. In most cases, seven is considered the age past which bedwetting is a cause for concern.
Bedwetting can also be called nocturnal enuresis or nighttime incontinence. When adults who have not experienced the condition in the past begin to urinate during sleep, it’s referred to as secondary enuresis. Bedwetting is uncommon in adults and generally requires evaluation and intervention.
Many factors can cause bedwetting in both children and adults. In cases where a small bladder is a cause, the volume of the bladder is insufficient to hold overnight urine production. The nerves that identify a full bladder could be at fault, failing to wake the sleeper when the bladder is full.
Urinary tract problems can be the cause of sudden or irregular bedwetting. These issues can include urinary tract infections and blockages such as kidney stones or bladder stones. In addition to these common causes, diabetes or rarer urinary tract or nervous system problems could be the cause.