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Bed wetting may indicate a UTI – consult a urologist

Involuntary urination is a normal part of early child development but may be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) if it continues beyond age seven and can often be effectively treated by a urologist.

Bed wetting (nocturnal enuresis) is common among young children and may be accompanied by daytime enuresis. If this condition persists with age it may indicate a UTI, structural problems in the urinary tract or nerve problems.

UTI is a common bacterial infection, with research showing that it may present in up to eight percent of all children. A study suggested that more vigorous urine sampling to identify the problem and prompt treatment may prevent long-term complications.

UTI’s may either be caused by bacteria or a more serious problem in the urinary system with the most common types being bladder and kidney infections. Common symptoms include pain, an urgency to urinate, blood in the urine, fever and vomiting.

Meanwhile, research shows that about 15% of children still wet the bed at age five but this should decrease with age. If this is not the case, or if children experience pain urinating, parents should take them to a urologist immediately, said Dr Preena Sivsankar from The Urology Hospital, Pretoria.

She said apart from a UTI, there may be other causes of involuntary urination, including insufficient bladder control, genetics, a neurological problem or a hormonal imbalance – all highlighting the importance of consulting a urologist. In addition, Dr Sivsankar suggested the following steps to strive for a healthy urinary system:

  • Always empty the bladder.
  • Proper cleaning is essential after urinating.
  • Drink water to stay hydrated and to flush out toxins in the bladder.
  • Wear cotton underwear that breath and do not hold moisture against the skin

Dr Sivsankar said The Urology Hospital was the only specialist institution of its kind in Africa, offering unmatched expertise in urology and utilising the latest technology to diagnose and treat all urological conditions. She urged parents to contact the hospital if they suspected their child had bladder problems.

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Urologists are highly trained specialist surgeons who use both medication and surgery as part of a comprehensive approach to care for men and women and children with urological problems. 

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