Enuresis refers to urination in clothing or bed beyond the age when children are expected to be toilet trained, in the absence of medical problems. By the age of 3, or 5 at the latest, most children have achieved bladder control both day and night. When children continue to have trouble with this task they have enuresis, often referred to as bedwetting. There are two basic types of enuresis: primary and secondary.

  1. Primary enuresis applies to children who have never been trained (has not achieved a six-month period of dryness at night). Primary enuresis is the more common of the two types.
  2. Secondary enuresis applies to children who have been dry up to a year and then start wetting again, usually between the ages of 5 and 8.

A sub-category of secondary enuresis is transient, or temporary, enuresis, which may be brought on by trauma or stress, such as a divorce in the family, and may last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months.