What is Primary Enuresis

Primary enuresis or primary nocturnal enuresis (PNE) is when a child has easily developed the ability to control their bladder during the daytime but still after a six month period cannot control their bladder at nigh while they sleep. Bed wetting affects approximately five to seven million children every year, more of these boys than girls.

Primary enuresis is particularly common in children who are six years and younger and in most cases it is something that children will outgrow. Studies have shown that approximately every fifteen out of one hundred children who are chronic bed wetters simply stop doing the behavior and do not require a visit to the doctors or any form of treatment whatsoever.

Side Effects

Most children who suffer from this chronic problem are embarrassed and troubled by it. It is important to reassure children who suffer from this chronic problem that this is a problem that will go away in time. Also make your child aware that bed wetting does not mean that he or she is strange or abnormal in any way, not physically and not psychologically. For some children it is a natural part of their development and bladder control is not achieved at the same age for every child.

Be aware that primary enuresis is often believed to happen for one of two reasons. First the child has an immature bladder either in a physical sense or a neurological one and secondly, the child falls into a very deep sleep and is unaware that the bladder has sent a message to the brain that it is full and needs to be emptied. As well primary enuresis is believed to have a genetic link and may not be something a person can help.


Some children who suffer from primary enuresis wet their beds night after night without fail while others tend to do it some night but not others. Sometimes there is a pattern for the latter and sometimes there is not. A great deal of children experience bed wetting more when they are at home in their own beds then when they stay overnight at a family members, a friends or when the family is on vacation.

This is believed to be a psychological problem. Most chronic bed wetters are very aware of their problem and are therefore overly anxious and uncomfortable about it. This anxiety can cause a child to sleep very lightly or hardly at all when they are sleeping somewhere other than their own bed. The fear of wetting in a different bed keeps them awake or cognizant of the worry and therefore less likely to do it.

Treating Primary Enuresis

Many doctors believe that the best way to stop bed wetting is to retrain your brain to either wake yourself up in the nigh when the need to empty your bladder arises or keep you asleep and able to hold the urine until you rouse in the morning.

These imperatives can be achieved by way of special exercises for the bladder, such as reading books about staying dry at night, visualizing yourself waking up dry, holding off using the toilet until later in the daytime and even using a special alarm that is attached to a pad placed in your underpants while you sleep. If your bladder begins to empty while you are still asleep the alarm will sense it thereby causing the alarm to buzz, vibrate or in some cases both. This will quickly and easily wake up the bed wetter.