Adult bedwetting. It’s a rarely talked about condition, but is one that affects many people. In fact, NAFC receives more visits to the adult bedwetting pages than any other page on our site. People struggle with this condition for all sorts of reasons – spinal cord injuries, neurological diseases, and even stress can cause bedwetting. And sometimes there can be seemingly no cause at all, which makes it all the more frustrating to address. Most people who wet the bed are desperate for a solution. They find it deeply embarrassing, and it greatly affects their quality of life, as they are constantly dealing with keeping things clean and worried about how it will affect current or future relationships.
The good news is there are ways to manage it. We asked people who live with adult bedwetting to share their best tips and stories with us. And now, we’re sharing them with you. If you’re longing to wake up dry in the morning, keep reading!
DON’T BE AFRAID TO TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR!
“Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. I have been wearing continence products for over a decade now – disposable underwear during the day, and fitted briefs at night. I’ve never had a Dr., RN, or Tech gasp in terror that one of their patients is wearing an incontinence garment, I’ve never had them ask to change me, mock me, or announce my issues to a crowded room. Doctors are professionals, and they see incontinent people all the time. If you are having incontinence issues, you definitely need to see a Doctor, but don’t be nervous about it. If incontinence was that uncommon, they wouldn’t have aisles dedicated to it in every big box store across the US.”
IF YOUR DOCTOR ISN’T ADDRESSING YOUR NEEDS, FIND A NEW ONE!
“My first Urologist really wanted to focus on medication. I was all for that if it would make my problem go away, but it didn’t and it had undesirable side effects. When the medication didn’t work the Urologist referred me to a physical therapist and a psychologist, convinced my continence issues were the result of depression. They weren’t, and that was when I opted to go with another Urologist. Not every Cop that pulls you over is going to give you a ticket, and not every Doctor is going to focus on what works for you. My second Doctor was focused on how it affected me and how to manage it, and it proved to be a more fruitful relationship. I also think RNs are great to talk to. The Dr. is supposed to be the expert, but in my experience Nurses tend to focus on reality and moving forward. Doctors tend to only focus on cures, even if that isn’t a realistic goal.”
DON’T BE AFRAID OF ADULT ABSORBENT PRODUCTS AND FIND ONE THAT FITS CORRECTLY!
“I initially went to what I now see as comical lengths to avoid dealing with my continence issues. I first tried the male guards, which are not designed for nighttime incontinence. When those proved futile I tried buying Goodnites (not designed for a grown man and very ill-fitting), figuring if the store clerk saw me buying bedwetting products designed for juveniles, she would assume that they were for a younger sibling. In retrospect, the clerk at a pharmacy or a grocery store is indifferent to what you buy. I think that is a big thing people initially get hung up on, and they needn’t. I typically buy continence supplies online these days, but no one cares what you are buying as long as you have the cash to pay for it. What is important is buying an incontinence product that works for you and you will use. At night I wear a fitted brief, which is an adult diaper. Initially it was very upsetting, but it gets better with time. Wearing a diaper keeps me dry, my bed dry, my girlfriend dry, and I get a good night’s sleep. It took me a while to get over the hump of accepting that this was what I had to wear to bed, but eventually I got over it. Now it is just a thing I do at night, no different than brushing my teeth and flossing.”
“The best thing to do is accept that you have the condition and take steps to manage it. Look into products like mattress protectors, bed pads or even diapers. I’m 29 and know how frustrating it is. But I’ve accepted that diapers are my best option for me. Trust me, taking off a wet diaper in the morning is WAY better than having to change and launder sheets and clothes.”
DON’T BE SCARED TO OPEN UP ABOUT YOUR CONDITION WITH YOUR LOVED ONES.
“Everyone is different, but I think that if you are in a relationship with someone and you have an illness or injury, that isn’t going to change things. I was straightforward with my girlfriend and we moved on together. We are still intimate. We still sleep together. We just keep my nighttime attire exclusive of our love life. “
YOUR ATTITUDE CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE!
“I used to “suffer” with bed wetting but once I became resigned to it, protected myself from its effects with good thick diapers, and changed my attitude about it, the suffering left. For many of us and maybe even you this is simply a condition in life to deal with. Let the suffering go and just accept it as a reality for yourself. You will be much happier and content.”
“I developed continence problems as the result of an unexpected side effect of surgery when I was 14 years old. I’m 74 now. So I’ve been dealing with these issues for 60 years. I’ve never been reliably dry at night since then. I was in diapers 24/7 for a couple of years after the surgery, but I managed to develop enough daytime control to go without a diaper except at night by the time I went to university. However, my incontinence increased again when I was in my forties; and I’ve been in diapers 24/7 since then. Incontinence is just a part of my life, and diapers are the kind of underpants that I wear. I do not “suffer”! I just manage my incontinence as a nuisance that isn’t much worse than needing to wear glasses or going bald and not nearly as bad as my arthritis.”
“If your bedwetting is treatable, see the necessary doctors and get it treated. However, if it’s chronic and not going to go away, acceptance and management with good diapers are the keys. “Suffering” is optional. I recommend just getting on with your life. Incontinence in general and bedwetting in particular are nuisances that need not ruin your life unless you let them. So don’t let them do so.”
FIND A SUPPORT GROUP!
“One of the best things that happened to me happened as a result of the NAFC forum. There was an incontinence panel put together, where individuals were part of a focus group and discussed how incontinence affected their life. I appreciate forums like this because you can discuss issues with other people facing them, but in the real world I always keep my private life private. That focus group meant a lot to me because I had a chance to talk with other people (even just on the phone) that had the same problem and the same concerns. I realized then that everyone worries about people noticing. Everyone worries about odor and stigma. And everyone (at least in the group) wears some sort of protection. That was actually a big weight of my chest being able to talk to people about it that were outside my extended family and the medical field, and if the opportunity presents itself again I highly encourage people to participate. The first 10 minutes are a little awkward, but after that people open up and you realize you aren’t alone.”
For the past three years while being in college, I have had serious bed wetting issues and do not know how to fix them. I have tried so many different things but haven’t found a solution yet. Because I am in college, I keep this to myself as I am very embarrassed. Is there a support group for college-age bed wetters that I could possibly join? I am able to meet virtually as well as in-person if there is a group located near me. Thank you so much!
Long time ago I was in college, and had and still have nightime wetting issues. I always lived in fear about anybody outside of my family discovering my condition. I lived at home my freshman year as I knew there was no way I’d live in a dorm. My second year I decided I would take a major chance and step. I had developed a great group of friends and all of them lived in dorms or apartments and really leaned on me to do it. I wasn’t sure how I’d handle it but I needed to face it. I’ve lived in cloth diapers with plastic pants my whole life and thought if I was careful how I handled it I could make it work. I got paired with a guy that was ok but hard to connect with. I was probably in the first month at one of my friends dorm room we were smokin and drinking beer. I fell asleep on a guys bed and totally soaked my pants and bed. They woke me up and of course were having a good laugh, but said I didn’t need to worry about it. I didn’t know what the next day would bring but got together for lunch with my friends and they started calling me puddles, it a very disarming nd light hearted way. When others heard them refer to me as puddles they would ask and my friends would answer very matter of fact saying because he wets his bed! They treated it very maturely and as others found out they reacted pretty much the same.
Now I’m not suggesting you tell anyone but you just might find out if discovered that college age people might be as understanding as my friends were. I’ve maintained contact with a few of these friends many years later and when I talk to them they all still say hi puddles, how’s it going?
Is it okay for parents to require their 13 year old daughter bedwetting in puberty to wear cloth diapers and plastic pants to bed every night? I am that girl,and every night mom puts the diapers and plastic pants on me before bedtime and i feel like a baby after i am in bed!
I am 69 and have had a radical prostectomy some 6 years ago. Lately on occasion I will be having a dream of needing to urinate. Usually I wake up in time but not always. Once some leakage occurs I do wake up. I am finding this deeply distressing. are there any alternatives to wearing some sort of absorbent underwear?
Ok if had this problem off and on all my life. Nocturnal enuresis was so embarrassing I didn’t tell everyone even my doctor. In 2007 I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Now 2023 I’m 55 still having the same issue with bed wetting and daytime leeks to. The doctors found that I have a systic bladder.on 02-01-23 I have an appointment with my old oncologist I’m going to tell him everything.
I’am older adult starting wetting the bed so my wife discussed it diapers help save the bed and her.
I started wetting the bed in my 2nd marriage mid 50’s had some problems growing up.I discussed this with my wife she bought some diapers mattress protector the stigma at 1st was bad but she handled this problem with grace and love.
At the age of 49 years old I had a falling incident I have pelvic floor and permeant nerve damage. I’ve had to be in diapers for the last 20 years, I have no control over my bladder and sometimes lose of my bowel control. In the beginning I had a very hard time with having to wear diapers, but if I wanted any kind of a life I had to except it. In time I adjusted to it. Main thing is just finding what works and what comfortable to wear without leaking.