Enuresis in adults? Causes and treatments

Enuresis in adults? Causes and treatments

Enuresis: Definition

Enuresis is a condition which results in urination (urination) involuntary, irrepressible and uncontrollable. When they occur during the day we speak of diurnal enuresis. At night, it is nocturnal enuresis. The two phenomena are not inseparable. In adults, controlled urination during the day may be involuntary at night. The term enuresis can be used from the age of 5, the age at which the child controls his bladder sphincter. From the age of 15 we speak of adult enuresis.
Many causes can explain this condition. Bedwetting can be the result of physical illness or mental disorders. To combat involuntary urination it is important to consult a doctor who will define their cause.

Enurésie definition

Enuresis in adults: the causes

Accidental enuresis

In adults, bedwetting can be accidental. Involuntary urination then occurs occasionally. The main causes that can explain these accidents are drunkenness, dreamlike states and smoking.
First, excessive alcohol consumption increases the production of urine. It can also alter waking up when the need to go to the bathroom arises. Before even realizing it, the adult will have urinated in bed.
Then, uncontrolled urination can occur during a dream. While sleeping, the adult imagines being in the toilet. The subconscious then causes a relaxation of the bladder by transposing the dream and the reality.
Finally, smokers who are victims of coughing can be affected by enuresis. While coughing, the adult may experience some involuntary urination.
When bedwetting is accidental, the condition may pass through a healthier lifestyle. A medical consultation may be useful but not essential.

Physical causes

When bedwetting occurs frequently, it is important to understand the causes.
Heredity can be a factor in bedwetting. Studies prove that when the parents are enuretic, the child and then the adult have many chances of suffering from the same condition.
Adults who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury or have laterality disorders are often subject to enuresis. Hypotonic, they perform contraction movements slowly. They can no longer control their bladder when they feel the need to urinate.
A physical disorder can also cause this condition. A bladder that is too small or distended, a urinary tract infection or hormonal imbalance are all possible causes. Some pathologies occur with age, such as diabetes or prostate hypertrophy. The elderly are therefore more likely to suffer from incontinence.
In order to know the precise causes of nocturnal incontinence, a diagnosis must be made by a doctor.

Psychic causes

If no physical disorder explains the enuresis, it is advisable to analyze the psychic aspect.
An emotional shock or trauma can explain incontinence in adults.
Other psychological problems such as depression or fear can affect bladder function. A vicious circle can then be created: stress, shame and lower self-esteem can increase the phenomenon of enuresis. It is therefore important to consult a specialist quickly.
Certain cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, can cause this condition in the elderly.
There is a cure for every cause. To know it, a medical consultation with a specialist is essential.

enuresie traitement

Enuresis in adults: treatments

Re-education of voiding rhythm

As soon as bedwetting appears in adults, good lifestyle habits should be adopted. By urinating regularly throughout the day and reducing fluid intake after 6 p.m., the risk of uncontrolled urination is reduced. To limit the risk of bladder irritation, and therefore enuresis, it is advisable to avoid drinking coffee or carbonated drinks.
Finally, it is recommended to get out of bed as soon as the urge to urinate is felt to avoid taking any risks.

Hypnosis and talk therapy

Sleep disorders, often due to a mental disorder, can disrupt urinary cycles. Hypnosis and verbal therapies can solve the problem at its source.

The “stop peeing” alarm

As its name suggests, the “stop peeing” alarm is a system that alerts the adult as soon as the first drop of urine is detected. The alarm, connected to the mattress, wakes the sleeper at the slightest involuntary urination. The adult can then go to the toilet and avoid the accident. This device is prescribed by a doctor for an average duration of 3 to 4 months. According to a study published in Springer Open Choice, the success rate of the alarm is 60% and relapses are few.


Delivered on medical prescription, a drug based on desmopressin helps block the secretion of urine during the night. Still according to the same study, its success rate is also 70% but the cases of relapses are much more numerous than with the alarm. For an optimal treatment it is recommended to combine these two treatments.

enuresie cause

Motor rehabilitation

When enuresis is due to physical disorders, motor rehabilitation can restore the proper functioning of the bladder system. While waiting for the end of the rehabilitation, night protections can be used.

Incontinence is not inevitable. Symptom of physical or psychological disorders, it can be treated in different ways. To solve the problems of involuntary urination, the first step is to talk about it with your doctor.

Say stop to sleep apnea and snoring!
Back2Sleep packaging with sheep to represent a deep sleep
I try! Starter Kit
Back to blog