Will My Son Ever Stop Wetting the Bed?

28 April, 2021
Q I have a 12-year-old son who still wets the bed. He's a sound sleeper and I'm thinking that might be the problem.

I'm a little nervous about giving him pills prescribed by the doctor because I don't think that we need any more drugs in our body than absolutely necessary.

Will my son ever stop wetting the bed? Are there any solutions that I could try?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•Waiting: If one parent had bed-wetting till age 15, the child will do the same.

•Behavioral therapies: these include motivational programs, guided imagery, hypnosis, condition therapy (bed-wetting alarm). Also, there are exercises to increase bladder capacity or to strengthen the nighttime resting tone of the sphincter muscles.

•Medications: several medications are available for this purpose.


As-salam `alaykum sister,

I would like to take the opportunity to provide some background on bed-wetting as well as comment on your question regarding medication.

Bed-wetting is a very common problem and affects somewhere between five and six million children.

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Unfortunately, most of those kids and their parents feel that something must be emotionally wrong; that they must be suffering from low self-esteem, trauma, or stress in their lives. However, in most cases, this is not true.

Bed-wetting, or nocturnal enuresis, can be divided into two types: 1-primary nocturnal enuresis and 2-secondary nocturnal. These two types are very different in their causes and treatments.

Primary Nocturnal Enuresis (PNE) in which children have never achieved complete nighttime control, always wetting at least two times a month.

The cause is not stress or behavioral concerns. PNE is often inherited. If both parents were bed-wetters, 77% of their children will be (vs. 44% if only one parent had PNE during childhood).

If neither parent wet the bed, only about 15% of their children will wet the bed. Treatments for PNE include the following:

Will My Son Ever Stop Wetting the Bed? - About Islam

1-Waiting: If one parent had bed-wetting till age 15, the child will do the same.

2-Behavioral therapies: These include motivational programs, guided imagery, hypnosis, condition therapy (bed-wetting alarm). Also, there are exercises to increase bladder capacity or to strengthen the nighttime resting tone of the sphincter muscles.

3-Medications: Several medications are available for this purpose.

The concern over taking medication is exaggerated at times. You may have to consider the option of taking medication and suffer a few benign side effects (as long as the medication does not cause long-term organ damage) or suffer the consequence of the illness, which at times can cause a serious self-esteem problem.

Children become ashamed and shy, and that may affect their performance in school and cause a serious impact on their future.

Some children start smoking early or using illegal drugs to cope with the problem; and here instead of dealing with safe medication, we deal with the complication of losing the future of our children.


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Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis (SNE) in which children were completely dry at night for a period of at least six months and then began wetting again.

In SNE, the first step is to identify the exact reason for the change (could be psychological or physical). A psychological reason could be stress such as a divorce, a move, or a death in the family.

A physical reason could be the onset of urinary tract infection or diabetes. Clearly, something has changed. The first step in solving the problem is identifying that change.

Finally, I wish a speedy recovery for your son and in sha’ Allah, he’ll be fine soon.

Salams and warm regards.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hwaa Irfan
Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.