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Nephrology Enuresis/Voiding Disorder Clinic

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Researchers study treatments for pediatric enuresis and voiding disorders at Children's Mercy Kansas City

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 years.

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 get older.

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 request a consultation. 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.

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