Enuresis and Voiding Disorders
The Enuresis/Voiding Disorder Clinic team
evaluates and treats children who have urinary problems in the
daytime or bedwetting at night. Patients are seen by a nurse
practitioner who collaborates with a pediatric nephrologist to
evaluate, treat, and educate children and families about these
common but stressful problems.
About Enuresis (Bedwetting)
Enuresis or bedwetting is a common childhood problem and is not
considered abnormal until after the age of 5 years. Nocturnal
enuresis (bedwetting at night) affects 5-6 million children in the
United States, or 15-20 percent of all 5-year-olds. Each year, 15
percent of these children will outgrow the bedwetting without
treatment. However, some will continue to have problems for
Common reasons children have bedwetting include:
- Making more urine than the bladder can hold overnight
- A bladder that wants to empty too soon
- Excessively sound sleep
- Irregular bowel movements
- A family history of bedwetting
Bedwetting has been shown to be one of the most stressful life
events for children. Parents frequently report that they have been
told that their child will just outgrow bedwetting without
intervention. However, just waiting and watching can delay
treatment that might hasten the resolution.
Families seek treatment to make sure their child is healthy and
the bedwetting is not a sign of a serious medical condition. Or,
they are often concerned that their child cannot participate in age
appropriate activities like camp or overnights with friends as they
Daytime Voiding Disorders
Children who experience daytime urinary symptoms may have a
voiding disorder. Voiding disorder problems are sometimes present
from the age of toilet training, but can develop later in preschool
through teenage years. Children with daytime symptoms (e.g.
increased frequency of voiding, increased urgency to void) or urine
incontinence have the additional stress of embarrassing wetting
that happens in the daytime at home, at school, or at play. Some of
these children may also have problems with recurrent bladder or
urinary tract infections. About 50 percent of children with
nocturnal enuresis may also have daytime voiding symptoms of
urinary urgency, frequency, or urine leakage.
What to Expect
When families come to the Enuresis/Voiding Disorder Clinic
appointment, a thorough history, physical examination and a urine
test are necessary to rule out a serious medical condition.
Additional tests may be needed if the child has had an abnormal
urine test, previous urinary tract infections, pain with urination,
or other urinary complications. Other tests available at Children's
Mercy Kansas City include specialized urine testing,
general radiology, renal ultrasound, voiding cystourethrogram, and
nuclear bladder scans.
Individualized treatments for enuresis or voiding disorders are
developed specifically for each child and their family. Options for
treatment may include behavior interventions, diet changes,
medications, or bed wetting alarm therapy.
Education is also important to help families learn how to help
reduce or eliminate the child's incontinence. A registered nurse in
our Enuresis/Voiding Clinic provides age-appropriate education
information to children, teens, and their families.
To Make an Appointment
To make an appointment, you can call the Clinic at (816)
234-3030 or your doctor can make a referral. Any previous tests or
radiology studies should be sent from your doctor's office to
prepare for your appointment (it is always good to bring with you
back-up copies of pertinent information). In case the child had
imaging studies done in an outside facility, a CD containing them
should be brought to be loaded into our computer system.
Helpful Resources for Children and Parents