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Ferring Pharmaceuticals: World Bedwetting Day 2016 - New Evidence Confirms the Impact of Bedwetting on Children’s Daytime Functioning


World Bedwetting Day 2016 is marked today by the World Bedwetting Day Steering Committee, a new working group led by the International Children’s Continence Society (ICCS) and the European Society for Paediatric Urology (ESPU), comprising patient and professional groups from across the globe*. Despite misconceptions that bedwetting is a simple childhood condition it has been shown to have a serious impact on a child’s self-esteem, emotional well-being and day time functioning, including school performance1,6. However it can and should be treated5. A recent study has highlighted this benefit by demonstrating that successfully treating bedwetting showed improvements in auditory working memory, quality of life and day time functioning.

“The study shows the damage that bedwetting has on the neuropsychological functioning of the developing child if not treated,” said Charlotte Van Herzeele, Department of Paediatric Nephrology/Urology, University Hospital Ghent, Belgium, “it is therefore important that families discuss the problem with a medical professional, as these additional issues can be solved by treating what is a common medical condition. Further research can contribute to expand our knowledge and understanding of optimal management approaches.”

In addition, bedwetting has been shown to have a significant impact on both the cognitive functioning and psychosocial wellbeing of children:

  • The condition can have a negative effect on the child’s school performance7
  • The damage to a child’s self-esteem can lead them to isolate themselves from peers1,2,7
  • This anxiety may then lead them to miss out on group activities such as sleepovers and school trips, for fear of bedwetting around friends1,2,7
  • The problem may also discourage them from longer journeys (such as flights or long drives) to see friends and family, or go on holiday7

Parents that have children with the condition on average spend one hour per day dealing with the impact, such as changing bedsheets, bathing the child and re-dressing them8. The consequences of bedwetting are often prolonged as many parents seek lifestyle changes first7 with nearly half of parents not seeking help in children five years or older9. As a result it can take approximately one to three years before a patient has visited a healthcare professional about their bedwetting problem7.

Dr. Søren Rittig, Professor at the Department of Child and Youth, Nephro-urologic Team, Aarhus University Hospital commented: “It is important that parents understand the impact bedwetting can have on their child and to realise that healthcare professionals can help. Effective treatments are available which can allow parents and children to take control of their lives. It’s time to take action!”

Many young children and their families will face bedwetting every night, with some suffering for years. The impact of bedwetting on the social and psychological well-being of children is underestimated”, says Professor Serdar Tekgül at the Department of Urology at Hacetteppe University. ”Often this condition is mistakenly considered part of natural development, and that children usually grow out of it in time. Yet this condition is embarrassing, socially and mentally debilitating for the children and extremely stressful for the families. It is time to take action and inform everyone about the availability of different treatment options to stop the suffering of children and their families.”


About Bedwetting

Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is an uncontrollable leakage of urine while asleep.10 In children aged ≥5 years, enuresis is considered abnormal. In most cases it is caused by over-production of urine at night or reduced capacity of the bladder1. An inability to wake up can be another cause1. Bedwetting does not have a psychological cause1. Bedwetting is a common childhood medical condition11, with approximately 5–10% of 7 year-olds regularly wetting their beds and the problem may persist into teenage and adulthood12.

About World Bedwetting Day

World Bedwetting Day 2016 will take place on Tuesday 24th May and occurs on the last Tuesday of May each year. World Bedwetting Day is initiated and supported by the World Bedwetting Day Steering Committee, which consists of the International Children’s Continence Society (ICCS) and the European Society for Paediatric Urology (ESPU) along with professional groups from across the globe*. The initiative is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Ferring Pharmaceuticals.

In 2015, the International Children’s Continence Society (ICCS) and the European Society of Paediatric Urologists (ESPU) launched the first World Bedwetting Day to raise awareness among the public and healthcare professionals that bedwetting is a common medical condition that can and should be treated11. The theme is: ‘Time to Take Action’, in recognition that much more can be done to diagnose and treat children who suffer from bedwetting.

For more information please visit

Supported by Ferring Pharmaceuticals

* Asia Pacific Association of Paediatric Urology (APAPU), International Paediatric Nephrology Association (IPNA), European Society of Paediatric Nephrology (ESPN), Sociedad Iberoamericana de Urologia Paediatrica (SIUP), Society of Pediatric Urology (SPU), the American Academy of Pediatrics – Section on Urology (AAP-SOU), American Association of Pediatric Urology (AAPU)


1 Vande Walle J et al, Erratum to: Practical consensus guidelines for the management of enuresis. Eur J Pediatr 2012;171:971-983

2 NHS Conditions: [Last accessed: 06.04.16]

3 von Gontard A, Baeyens D, Van Hoecke E, Warzak WJ, Bachmann C (2011) Psychological and psychiatric issues in urinary and fecal incontinence. J Urol 185:1432-1436.

4 Van Herzeele C, Dhondt K, Roels S P et al. Desmopressin(melt) therapy in children with monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis and nocturnal polyuria results in improved neuropsychological functioning and sleep. Pediatr Nephrol. 2016; DOI 10.1007/s00467-016-23351-3

5 Hjälmås K et al. Nocturnal Enuresis: An International Evidence Based Management Strategy. The Journal of Urology. 2004; 171:2545–2561

6 Joinson C et al. A United Kingdom population-based study of intellectual capacities in children with and without soiling, daytime wetting, and bed-wetting Pediatrics. 2007;120(2):e308-16

7 Joinson C et al, Pediatrics. 2007 Aug;120(2):e308-16

8 InSites Consulting. Increasing Adherence for Minirin Market Research. 2016

9 Schlomer, Bruce et al Parental beliefs about nocturnal enuresis causes, treatments, and the need to seek professional medical care, Journal of Pediatric Urology.2013; 9, 1043e1048

10 Austin P et al. The Standardization of Terminology of Lower Urinary Tract Function in Children and Adolescents: Update Report from the Standardization Committee of the International Children’s Continence Society, The Journal of Urology. 2014;191:1863-1865

11 Hjälmås K et al. Nocturnal Enuresis: An International Evidence Based Management Strategy. The Journal of Urology. 2004; 171:2545–2561

12 Nevéus T. Nocturnal enuresis—theoretic background and practical guidelines. Pediatr Nephrol. 2011; 26:1207–1214

Contact information

Burson-Marsteller for Ferring Pharmaceuticals
Nehal Patel
+44 2073006173

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