Most people who have reached their teenage years and are still experiencing bedwetting would more than likely have sought out help or therapy as a child for the problem.
If the bedwetting stopped for a few years, then started up again as a teenager, going back to previous methods of controlling the problem are well worth a try. Failing this, new methods of and therapy ideas for stopping enuresis as a teenager can start to be considered.
Because teenager bedwetting can cause considerable social discomfort as the child gets older, it is important not to ignore the problem and hope it will go away on its own.
Once a teen has been evaluated by a doctor or urologist to rule out any medical causes of bedwetting, and where no other potential treatment recommendations have worked, teenagers can start to feel hopeless and depressed about their bedwetting situation. Shame is a common feeling, being completely understandable at an age where a child is now maturing and wanting to spend more time with their friends to feel a sense of independence.
Instead, your teen and you might be spending days removing and washing soaked bed sheets and pyjamas after another night of bedwetting.
What can you do to end this cycle and get your teenager back on track to a normal, happy, confident life?
Are bedwetting alarms useful for teenagers?
A bedwetting alarm solution can be used by teens. Just like with younger children who use an enuresis alarm, teens can make use of a device in the privacy of home.
When your teen starts using a bedwetting alarm, as a parent it’s a good idea to become involved as far as listening out for the alarm and ensuring your teen is waking, and getting out of bed to go to the bathroom. This is the response that’s required when using an alarm – and although your teen might be reluctant to have you involved in the process, it can be beneficial in the early stages.
The concept of a bedwetting alarm for teens is simple: As he learns night by night to respond to the alarm sound by waking, turning the alarm off, and walking to the toilet to urinate, the sooner dry nights will become the norm and your teen will start to wake without the alarm if the urge to pee during the night occurs.
What’s the best type of bedwetting alarms for teens?
Most teens will prefer a wireless bedwetting alarm. Many teenager boys will prefer to sleep without a shirt so wired alarms that need the unit to be attached to the shirt or top pyjamas can deter a teen from wanting to use it.
Besides outright declining to wear the alarm if it’s not comfortable, tech savvy teenagers (let’s face it, they all are) who have a wired alarm attached at night can easily just disconnect the sensor during the night (either consciously or subconsciously) – rendering the entire bedwetting alarm useless.
Wireless alarms are now considered the most desirable option not only for teens, but for all ages, because they require getting out of bed to deactivate the alarm sound. The receiver will be a short distance from the bed, and the alarm should continue to emit its sound until it’s switched off. This incentive to get up then leads to the next step of going to the bathroom. With a wired alarm the incentive to get out of bed can often be ignored with the alarm able to be turned off without moving.
How long should a teen use a bedwetting alarm for?
Success comes at a different pace for everyone, and some teens will start having dry nights within just a week or two, while others can take two or three months of nightly bedwetting alarm use. The measure of success and total dryness (and thus, the end of needing to use the bedwetting alarm) should be targeted at two weeks straight of dry nights. At that point it can be considered that the bedwetting alarm has successfully trained your teen to avoid nocturnal enuresis – and this will usually be permanent.
Whether your teen decides to try using a bedwetting alarm to combat night time enuresis is their choice. But if they do: with persistence and patience a teen can eliminate bedwetting and get their confidence back to move forward in life as a young adult.
When should a teenager stop using a bedwetting alarm?
It can be very tempting to stop using the alarm after one or two dry nights, thinking that the bedwetting problem has disappeared.
But this is a common mistake.
You will want at least 14 nights straight without any bedwetting before declaring it safe to quit using the bedwetting alarm. It’s common for several dry nights to be followed by another wet night here and there, indicating the problem is still there although improving considerably. At this point, you’re well on your way to completely dry nights but your teen must continue using the bedwetting alarm at this point.
Teenage Bedwetting Facts
It is estimated that 1%, or 1 in every 100 teenagers, experience bedwetting.
- Seek medical advice to find out if there are any physical conditions causing the bedwetting. It is rare for the majority of teenagers to have medical issues with their bladder or kidneys, but an examination by your doctor should still be the first step that you take when you want to find the cause – and a cure – for wetting the bed in your teens.
Studies on Nocturnal Enuresis in Teenagers and Adolescents
There have been a number of studies done on adolescent nocturnal enuresis, including the causes and best potential treatments.
One interesting study from Korea concluded that the main causes of bedwetting in teenagers is very much the same as what causes it in much younger kids, and that the simple reason that most teenagers with bedwetting are still struggling with the problem is because their nocturnal enuresis at a younger age never abated like it does with the majority if young children.
In other words, most teens with enuresis are seeing a continuation of it from their childhood rather than having it suddenly start happening for other reasons.
Concerningly, the study found that teens with nocturnal enuresis had a higher rate of night time bedwetting than young children, as well as being more likely to experience incontinence during the day. The researchers concluded that young children with more serious forms of enuresis see the condition continue into adolescence where symptoms can worsen.
What about teens who start experiencing bedwetting but never had it as children?
This is where the study indicates what we expect: later onset enuresis is often the result of a specific health complication including “hormones, cardiovascular diseases, sleep and central nervous system dysfunction, and diverse urological causes”, of which the true cause can only be determined with medical diagnostics.
The study also found that those with adolescent and teenage nocturnal enuresis and/or daytime incontinence didn’t see it decrease naturally with time as it usually does with young children. Unsurprisingly, the researchers also found that those people experiencing any type of incontinence were more likely to experience stress, anxiety and depression.