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Enuresis: Care Instructions


Enuresis (say "en-yuh-REE-sus") is accidental wetting (day or night) that happens after someone is normally expected to have bladder control. This problem can run in families. It can be caused by low levels of a hormone that helps the body make less urine when you sleep. In some cases, enuresis is caused by a physical problem, like a small bladder.

Enuresis can be treated with medicine, special training, or both. If medicine works for you, it is best to use it along with a plan that trains your mind and body to be dry at night. Over time, your goal is to stop taking the medicine.

If you have tried treatment before but still are not dry every night, give it another try. Set your goal, follow your plan, and keep track of your progress. Reward yourself for successes. Be patient. The body and mind need time to learn a new habit.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Use a moisture alarm. When it sounds or vibrates at night, get up and empty your bladder right away. Use the alarm every night until you have been dry for 3 months. By then, your body will be much better trained to stay dry at night.
  • Be a record-keeper. Keep a calendar or diary of your wet and dry nights, what helps, and what does not.
  • Reward yourself for success. Write down your first goal for success, such as "Be dry for 2 nights in a week." Write down how you will reward yourself when you have reached your goal. When you do reach your goal, make a new goal, such as "Be dry for 3 nights in a week."
  • Be prepared for setbacks. If you have a wet night or two, get right back on your training plan.
  • If your doctor has prescribed medicine, take it exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Do not drink a lot of fluids in the evening. Empty your bladder right before you go to bed.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have symptoms of a urinary infection. For example:
    • You have blood or pus in your urine.
    • You have pain in your back just below your rib cage. This is called flank pain.
    • You have a fever, chills, or body aches.
    • It hurts to urinate.
    • You have groin or belly pain.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You have questions about your treatment.
  • You have a problem with your medicine.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.