What's Nocturnal Enuresis (bedwetting)?

Nocturnal Enuresis (NE) is the medical name for bedwetting. It’s very common in children and continues to be an issue for many people as they get older. There are a few different causes and lots of different treatments that can help you stay dry at night.    


What causes bedwetting?

The three main causes are:

  • Not being able to wake up when you feel like you need to go to the toilet
  • When the bladder becomes overactive at night and cannot store urine (wee)
  • When the kidneys make a large amount of urine at night and the bladder has trouble holding it


Bedwetting is NOT caused by:

  • being young for your age
  • laziness
  • bad behaviour
  • drinking after dinner



See your doctor before trying any of these treatments at home.

Depending on your situation, there are lots of treatments that can help with bedwetting. A few are:

  • Bedwetting alarms that work by waking you up when they notice moisture
  • Medications that assist with producing less urine at night
  • Training programs that help the bladder to store more urine


Alarms and medications should only be used with the support and guidance of a doctor or health professional, so talk to a doctor if you’d like to find out more. Research tells us that you have a better chance at succeeding if you use an alarm program with the support from a health professional. Some continence products like mattress protectors and specially designed bedwetting pants are also helpful.

Chat to us

If you’d like to talk with a trained continence nurse about any bladder or bowels concerns, call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66 for free anytime from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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