Diagnosing bedwetting 

It's likely your GP will ask you or your child about their bedwetting to check for any underlying cause and help determine the most effective treatment.

Examples of questions your GP may ask include:

  • Has bedwetting started suddenly after a previous history of dryness, or has this been a persistent problem since early childhood?
  • If there's been no history of bedwetting, could there be any medical, physical or emotional triggers that might explain the symptoms?
  • How many nights a week does bedwetting happen?
  • How many times a night does bedwetting happen?
  • Is there a large amount of urine?
  • Does your child wake up after wetting the bed?
  • Is your child having any daytime symptoms, such as a frequent or urgent need to pee or loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence), or are they straining to pass urine?
  • Is your child having any additional symptoms unrelated to urination, such as constipation, feeling thirsty all the time or a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above?
  • How much fluid does your child drink during the day and have you ever tried restricting their fluid intake in the evenings?
  • How often does your child go to the toilet during the day?

As part of the assessment process, you may be asked to keep a ‘bedwetting diary’ to record things such as:

  • your child’s fluid intake
  • the number of times your child goes to the toilet during the day and how much urine they pass
  • how often they wet the bed (for example, how many days a week and how many times during the night)

Further investigation

Further tests are rarely needed, but may be recommended if your GP suspects an underlying health condition or other problem is responsible for your child’s bedwetting (see causes of bedwetting for more information about these).

For example, if your GP suspects your child may have a urinary tract infection or type 1 diabetes, a urine test can be used to check for these conditions.

If your GP thinks emotional problems might be responsible for your child’s bedwetting, they may recommend talking to your child's teacher or school nurse to see if there are any issues at school that could be upsetting them.

Page last reviewed: 27/03/2015

Next review due: 27/03/2017