Most cases of enuresis are treated through behavioral therapy, although in some cases medication may be prescribed.
Psychotherapeutic: An experienced clinician can work with you to craft a behavioral approach. There are several options, among them moisture alarms—sensors that detect moisture and will wake your child whenever he begins to wet the bed—that have proven extremely effective in treating enuresis, though they may take several weeks. Other options may include limiting liquid and caffeine intake at night, encouraging frequent urination, and rewarding your child for each night without bedwetting.
Pharmacological: There are some medical options for treating enuresis, but they only work in the short-term; when the child stops taking the medicine he will resume wetting his bed. Desmopressin, which can be taken in a pill or nasal-spray form, causes less urine to be produced at night. If your child has a small bladder, another option might be Ditropan or Levinsin, which increases bladder capacity and decreases bladder contractions.
Most children will grow out of enuresis. But because the acute embarrassment it causes can be very painful for a child, it’s a good idea to seek treatment.
Do drugs help?
Drugs will help your child stop wetting the bed, although they will not provide a long-term solution to the disorder. Most doctors favor treating enuresis with behavioral therapy, though in some cases they may also prescribe medicine.
What causes it?
There may be a genetic factor—if there is a family history of bedwetting, your child will be much more likely to develop the disorder. Other factors might include a small bladder, hormone imbalance, a stressful event such as divorce, or inadequate toilet training.
How long does it take for the moisture alarm to become effective?
You may begin to see a response after two weeks, or sooner. But it is important not to discontinue using the alarm before the treatment is complete—a child who has been dry for a week might still have a relapse.