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Editor(s)-in-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S.,M.D. [1] Phone:617-632-7753; Angela Botts, M.D., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Geriatric Medicine [2]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Kiran Singh, M.D. [3]


Enuresis is the medical term for involuntary urination beyond the age of anticipated control. Its two major forms are diurnal enuresis (or daytime wetting), and nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting or nighttime wetting). It can be controlled with medications such as oxybutynin.

Differential Diagnosis

Epidemiology and Demographics


The prevalence of enuresis is:

  • 5,000-10,000 per 100,000 (5%-10%) among children 5 years of age
  • 3,000-5,000 per 100,000 (3%-5%) among children 10 year of age
  • 1,000 per 100,000 (1%) among children 15 years of age or older[1]

Risk Factors

  • Delayed or lax toilet training
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Psychosocial stress[1]

Diagnostic Criteria

DSM-V Diagnostic Criteria for Enuresis[1]

  • A. Repeated voiding of urine into bed or clothes, whether involuntary or intentional.


  • B. The behavior is clinically significant as manifested by either a frequency of at least twice a week for at least 3 consecutive months or the presence of clinically significant distress or impairment in social, academic (occupational), or other important areas of functioning.


  • C. Chronological age is at least 5 years (or equivalent developmental level).


Specify whether:

  • Nocturnal only: Passage of urine only during nighttime sleep.
  • Diurnal only: Passage of urine during waking hours.
  • Nocturnal and diurnal: A combination of the two sub types above.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders : DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association. 2013. ISBN 0890425558.

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