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How can I stop bedwetting?
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How can I stop bedwetting?

I am a 22 yr old female and I have wet the bed all my life. I suppose my parents thought I would outgrow the problem as I became older, but I didn't. At any rate, they never took me to a doctor about the problem. I seem to go through cycles where I will have 2 to 4 weeks dry, and then I start wetting the bed again. When I'm in a wetting cycle, I wet the bed basicly every night for about 7-10 days straight.

I wet the bed during times I'm happy, sad, under stress or pretty carefree. Other times when I feel all these same ways, I have dry nights. I have tried everything I can think of such as limiting my fluids in the evenings, to setting an alarm clock to wake me up. With the alarm, my problem is that I don't always pee at the same time each night, so sometimes when the alarm rings I wake to find I'm already wet. When I set it to wake me earlier in the night, then I pee later on.

The only common ground I seem to have found is that I am more likely to go into a bed wetting cycle when I am overtired. But I also wet when I am not overtired.

I still live with my parents and no one outside my household knows my problem. No one, not even by best friends. I can rarely sleep over someone's home and I am uncomfortabe when I stay in hotels. When I do, I wear products like Depends.

I don't have much money for buying diapers to use daily, so to make it as easy as possible, I am now reduced to sleeping on an Aero bed every night because it is plastic and easy to keep clean.

I go to a general practioner doctor every couple years for a checkup, and everyting comes out fine, but I have never metioned this problem. I guess I'm too ashamed and embarrased. I'ts my little secret, only now I guess the whole world knows.

Aside from this, I am quite healthy, both physically and emotionally. I am an outgoing, friendly person, who has several friends. To my knowledge I do not have a bladder infection, I have no pain or anything unusual when urinating. I am also a virgin.

My grandfather on my mother's side was a bed wetter his whole life. No other relatives that I know of are.

I usually sleep on my side, and I sleep quite well. On good (dry) nights, most of the time I never get up at all to urinate during the night

I hope you can offer me some suggestions as to what to do next. I don't even know if this is something that I shoud be seriously concerned with or not. I have lived like this for 22 years, but I wish I could stop. Now that I'm older, my biggest concern is if I seriously start dating someone, and he wants to marry me, how will I ever tell him that I still wet the bed?!

Thank you for your time and any suggestions you can offer.
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First of all, this is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.  There are several options you may want to consider - but I certainly would have this evaluated by a urologist.

There are a variety of causes for enuresis (i.e. bedwetting).  At your age, you may want to inquire about the various causes of incontinence - for instance, neurological disorders, or anatomical abnormalities that may interfere with normal continence.  

Tests to consider would include a simple urinalysis, and urodynamic testing, and ultrasound.  

Depending on the cause, there are a variety of treatment approaches including bladder training, biofeedback, pelvic floor exercises, medication, functional electrical stimulation or surgery.

In any case, I would strongly suggest a urology referral for further evaluation of this condition.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
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