When to see a doctor

Right after I wet the bed the second time as a teenager, Mom scheduled an appointment with our family doctor. Wetting the bed at 14 after being dry for ten years (secondary enuresis) is a symptom of something serious.

Mom didn’t make special appointments with the doctor for the other kids’ bedwetting. They had always wet the bed (primary enuresis), so everyone assumed that the cause was hormones or bladder volume. Mom discussed it with the doctor at every annual checkup, but until they were 10, it was just to reassure my brother or sister that it wasn’t a big deal and he or she would outgrow it. When their bedwetting continued into junior high school, they got some of the tests I got.

I’ve told my kids’ pediatrician about my own and my siblings’ bedwetting.

If a child wets the bed after age 6, you should be on the lookout for other symptoms that may indicate something more serious than hormones or immature bladder — such as urinary tract infection, diabetes, apnea or epilepsy.

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