I am often asked by parents: “How do we know if the bedwetting issue is over?” The simplest and most obvious answer is when the child is dry for a period of time; for children that used to wet every night or few times at night, 4 weeks of dryness is considered a safe period of time to declare that the child outgrew bedwetting. When the bedwetting frequency is low, we will expect a longer period of dryness to declare end of bedwetting.
Having said that, there is another condition that we should consider – the psychological issue. In order to end the treatment process, two conditions must be met:
- The child went through a process of learning and learned to recognize the signal from the filled bladder being sent to the brain during sleep and to respond accordingly.
- The child feels confident about his ability to stay dry at night.
Some children met condition number one but are still afraid that it might come back. During the last treatment’s session they express their fears about having a relapse. I had a patient, age 22, that was dry for 8 weeks. She was very scared to end the treatment and kept asking how she can be sure that it is over. I call those patients “Conditional outgrowing bedwetting patient”. The chance of a relapse is quite high in those cases. Should a bedwetting accident occur after the treatment (which is quite common) they lose their confidence and feel a lot of pressure, basically saying, “I knew it”. The following night, they go to bed with the unfortunate memories of the previous night and the result is another wet night. From this stage to a complete relapse is only a short jump.
On the other hand, when a patient that used to wet the bed every night manages to be dry for a week and says to me: “I know it is over; I’ll will not wet my bed anymore,” it is almost certain that his confidence will keep him on his path and he will stay dry for good.