What Causes Teenage Bedwetting?

Tara Barnett
Tara Barnett

Teenage bedwetting can be caused by a number of factors, some of which may be related to serious health issues. Commonly, teenagers who wet the bed never stopped wetting the bed and simply have yet to grow out of it. On the other hand, bedwetting that starts suddenly can be a sign of serious trauma or minor problems, like allergies. An isolated incident may be related to substance abuse. No matter the cause, it is a good idea to get a professional opinion on teenage bedwetting.

One of the major causes of teenage bedwetting is simple genetics. Some teenagers mature more slowly than others, some have underdeveloped bladders, and some have a family history of bedwetting. Given that these problems are usually present throughout childhood, it is likely that teenage bedwetting due to these causes will have a long history. Most people do eventually grow out of this type of bedwetting.

In some cases, teenage bedwetting can be caused by dietary changes. Increases in caffeine, dairy products, and other substances can cause a teen to relapse into bedwetting. Isolating the problem can be difficult because the teen may or may not be allergic to the substance.

Emotional troubles sometimes lead to bedwetting as well. Stress and trauma, in particular, can trigger uncontrolled urination. In some cases, the teen may be hiding the source of the severe trauma and may be less than forthcoming when confronted. Cases like these are often handled by psychologists.

There are a number of causes of teenage bedwetting that relate to how urine is produced and the available space in which to store it. A teenager may for any number of reasons begin to produce excess urine. It is also possible that he or she has a small bladder that is not capable of handling the amount of urine produced at night. Problematically, having a small bladder does not necessarily imply that a person will wet the bed, so bladder size may not always provide a definitive answer. In combination with a sleep disorder, which may prevent the teenager from waking up when the bladder is full, these conditions can produce bedwetting.

It can be hard to diagnose the cause of bedwetting in teens, but coming to some understanding of why the teen is wetting the bed can be helpful not only for health but for emotional security as well. Teenagers are often ashamed of wetting the bed, and this shame may interfere with their other activities. By diagnosing the cause even if there is no cure, the teenager may experience an improvement in overall quality of life.

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