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Bedwetting, which could be genetic, can be overcome — Urologist

Bedwetting may be hereditary and is often outgrown, but if it continues beyond age five a medical evaluation by a urologist with an interest in this field is important.

A large-scale study shows that bedwetting (also called nocturnal enuresis) is up to seven times higher among children with one parent who had the condition as a child, and about 11 times higher if both parents were bedwetters.

Dr Nico Lourens, from The Urology Hospital, Pretoria, says in these cases, parents should feel reassured that like them, their children will probably outgrow the condition. Interventions may be needed, but most children will achieve dryness.

“If a parent is concerned about their child wetting the bed frequently after age five, they should consult a urologist about various interventions, including lifestyle changes relating to liquid intake and sleep and in some cases, medication.”

He said that while up to 25% of children may wet their bed at age five, this drops to about five percent of 12-year-olds and only one percent of those aged 16.

He added that bedwetting contributes to poor sleep and is usually very stressful for both parents and the child. “Parents should make sure their children know that bedwetting is not their fault, that they’re not behaving badly and that there are solutions.”

Dr Lourens said indications of more serious conditions may include children who wet themselves during the day, especially after previously achieving dryness, those with recurrent urinary tract infections and children who cross their legs to suppress the urge to pass urine. The two main factors that play a role in bedwetting are bladder capacity that hasn’t fully developed and increased urine production at night.

Meanwhile, the large-scale Danish study suggests genetic influence on bedwetting is located in deep brain areas responsible for regulation of day-night rhythms, urine production and sleep. “This supports that bedwetting is linked to physiological mechanisms, rather than being caused by psychological problems,” researchers noted.

The Urology Hospital, Pretoria, is the only specialist institution of its kind in Africa, offering unmatched expertise and the latest technology for all urological conditions, including enuresis, incontinence, urinary tract infections and other bladder problems.

For more information, contact 012 423-4000 or SMS the word INFO and your e-mail address to 33000 (SMS charged at R1.50).

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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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The safety of our patients and colleagues is our number one priority. Your healthcare is important to us and we are actively working with and following guidance from the National Department of Health and the NICD (National Institute for Communicable Diseases).

Kindly note the hospital has set up a Covid-19 task team and contingency plan and we are preparing for all eventualities.

Please confirm with your Doctor if you are still able to come for your consultation. However, if you have any of the following signs and symptoms then please cancel your appointment, self-isolate and contact the centralised helpline on 0800 029 999:
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In an effort to limit the number of patients visiting The Urology Hospital Pharmacy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will only assist our regular retail patients.  If you have a valid repeat script at The Urology Hospital Pharmacy, please call us in advance on 012 423 4036 to make arrangements to obtain your repeat prescription. We will then prepare it for you in advance. When collecting your script bring your purple script copy or previous medicine containers with you to gain access to the hospital.

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