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About Voiding Dysfunction

When a child’s urination pattern is considered abnormal for his or her age, we call that a voiding dysfunction.

Voiding dysfunctions can include:
• Daytime wetting (diurnal enuresis)
• Nighttime bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis)
• Overactive bladder
• Underactive bladder
• Frequency, dribbling and urgency issues

Voiding dysfunction is often associated with constipation and urinary tract infections.

Additional symptoms of voiding dysfunction include:
• Pain or straining with urination
• Hesitancy
• Intermittent urine flow

It is important for parents to understand – especially with bedwetting – it’s not happening because your child is lazy, it’s not that they don’t care. In most cases, their body just isn’t ready. Negative reinforcement after an accident doesn’t work. What does work is positive reinforcement for behaviors in the evening, which is decreasing drinking and going to the bathroom before bed.

Causes of voiding dysfunction
Ninety percent of the children we see are going to be anatomically and neurologically normal.

The reason they’re having accidents could be:
• A delay in normal maturation
• Behavioral changes that happen as the child potty-trains or starts going to school
• Poor habits, including voluntarily (and chronically) delaying bathroom breaks for too long
• Constipation
• A small percentage of children with voiding dysfunctions have anatomic problems

Getting to the root cause can be challenging and often involves multiple suspects.