What Are Some Causes of Bedwetting in Adults?


Quick Answer

Some potential causes for bedwetting include heredity, urinary tract infections, excessive caffeine consumption and side effects from medications, states the National Association for Continence. Other causes are health conditions such as prostate problems or sleep apnea.

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Evidence shows a strong hereditary correlation for bedwetting, with the trait being passed down 77 percent of the time when the patient has two parents with a history of bedwetting, and 40 percent of the time with one parent, according to the National Association for Continence. Lower production of the antidiuretic hormone is also a known cause.

Bedwetting is often a symptom of another underlying health problem, such as diabetes or cancer, notes Mayo Clinic. Smaller functional bladder capacity is also associated with bedwetting, as the patient can hold a smaller amount of urine than the average person. Another cause is overactive detrusor muscles that can result from excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption. Hypnotics and other psychiatric medications can contribute to the condition as well, states the National Association for Continence.

A doctor performs a thorough examination to investigate the cause of bed-wetting, notes the National Association for Incontinence. A typical appointment involves a physical exam, neurological evaluation, urinalysis and urine culture to determine the contents of the urine. More involved tests may include uroflowometry, which measures the amount and flow rate of urine, or post-void residual urine measurement, which requires an ultrasound to determine how much urine is left in the bladder after voiding.

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