5. Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis)

These notes are for use together with the Colley Model.


Nocturnal enuresis is the complaint of involuntary voiding that occurs at night during the main sleep period (i.e. bedwetting), (Hashim H et al, 2018)

Nocturnal enuresis does not usually occur as a symptom of stress urinary incontinence, but can occur in patients with mixed (stress and urgency) urinary incontinence.


Nocturnal enuresis may occur as a result of overactive bladder, bladder outlet obstruction, or underactive bladder. Sometimes the cause is unknown.



Nocturnal polyuria is defined as passing more than one third of the 24-hour urine output at night. It can be associated with other medical problems such as sleep apnoea, swollen ankles, heart failure and also certain medicines (BAUS, 2017). Refer to the Bladder Diary to confirm this. If there are other symptoms as described here, refer to the doctor for medical assessment and advice.



Hashim H, Blanker MH, Drake MJ, Djurhuus JC, Meijlink J, Morris V, Petros P, Guo Wen J, Wein, A. An International Continence Society (ICS) Report on the terminology for nocturia and nocturnal lower urinary tract function. Neurourol Urodyn. 2018 DOI: 10.1002/nau.23917

Nocturnal Polyuria, 2017. Leaflet No: 16/021, British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS) Limited. Download it here.