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To understand what is enuresis, we first have to know why we urinate. The bladder retains urine thanks to the fact that there are two sphincters that control its output.
The first is an internal sphincter, which is involuntary, in such a way that it remains closed until the bladder fills with urine, at which point it dilates to expel it. The other, the external sphincter, acts voluntarily when the desire to urinate, thanks to the contraction of the abdominal muscles.
To control these two sphincters, the maturation of the child's brain neurological centers is needed, whether or not they stimulate the sphincters, depending on the need to urinate, as well as the learning of voluntary control in the case of the external sphincter. Generally, the control of the anal sphincter is done before the bladder, and the diurnal bladder before the night bladder. That is, children first learn to control poop, then pee during the day, and finally pee at night.
We say that a child has enuresis, when you urinate involuntarily at an age when control of urination, from the pee, it should already be established. However, between the ages of six and ten, children may occasionally leak pee at night, but that does not mean bedwetting.
Nocturnal incontinence is suffered by children who intermittently wet the bed during sleep, at night or at nap, at a socially unacceptable age in the environment in which they live, with a significant frequency and in a sustained way in time, as to affect the child himself or his family.
The age to consider enuresis in in girls it is at 5 years and in boys at 6 years, because the latter mature in a slower way.
Enuresis is more common in boys (twice as much as in girls), this difference decreasing as age advances. Eighty-five percent of children pee at 2 years, 49 percent at 3 years, and it drops to 26 percent at 4 years, although it does not mean they have enuresis.
It is estimated that they have enuresis:
- Children between 5 and 6 years old: 15% - 20%
- Children with 10 years: 6% - 8%
- Adolescents from 15 years old: 1%
Although there is no known gene associated with the disorder, there is usually a family trend, that is, has a hereditary component. Thus, up to 60 percent of children with primary nocturnal enuresis have a sibling (more often if they are twins) or a parent who has already had the problem.
In fact, if both parents checked their urine at night later than normal, the likelihood that the child will wet the bed, beyond the age of 5-6, is up to 77 percent.
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