Feature Article

Management of childhood enuresis

Patrina Caldwell, Claudia Ng



Enuresis is a common childhood complaint. Management of this condition is based on the accurate assessment of the underlying cause and applying the most appropriate therapy.

Key Points

  • Childhood enuresis (bedwetting) is a common complaint occurring in up to 18.9% of school-aged children.
  • It can affect a child’s self-esteem, behaviour, relationships and performance at school.
  • Monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting without daytime symptoms) should be distinguished from non-monosymptomatic enuresis (bedwetting with daytime voiding symptoms) as the management differs for each of these conditions.
  • Causes of childhood enuresis include impaired cortical arousal coupled with reduced bladder capacity and/or nocturnal polyuria.
  • Alarm therapy is the most effective therapy for managing monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis, with desmopressin as second-line therapy.