Why Do Adults Wet the Bed at Night?


Bed wetting is generally considered to be a condition that primarily affects children. However, in some instances, adults may also be troubled by this problem. Medical evaluation is necessary when an adult wets the bed so that the underlying condition causing the problem can be diagnosed and treated.

The Facts

The medical term for an adult wetting the bed at night is secondary enuresis. This is not a common condition and is usually a sign of another medical condition.


According to the National Association for Continence, two percent of adults suffer from episodes of bed wetting due to an inability to control urination during the night.


Secondary enuresis may be caused by diabetes, urinary tract infections, bladder cancer, obstructive sleep apnea, urinary tract stones, or an enlarged prostate. In rare cases, adult bed wetting can be caused by emotional disorders, such as acute anxiety.


A general practitioner may refer the patient to an urologist. The patient should expect a complete physical evaluation and a variety of tests to determine the underlying condition causing the bed wetting.


Adult bed wetting in a symptom of another condition and treatment consists of addressing the underlying cause.

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