Urinary incontinence – leaks and spurts
Urinary leakage is an involuntary loss of urine that happens in an inappropriate place or time.
The child must be five years of age, have a minimum of one episode per month and a minimum duration of three months for an official diagnosis to be made (Austin et al., 2014).
Problems with emptying the bladder
Some children do not empty their bladders completely. This can lead to frequent bladder infections.
When the bladder does not empty properly, it needs a shorter time to fill up again. A bladder that is full sooner demands more frequent visits to the toilet – we refer to this as increased urinary frequency. Normal urine frequency is 6 – 8 times per day.
Girls can suffer from a condition called vaginal voiding. When the girl urinates, some urine squirts into the vagina. The urine then runs out of the vagina after the child gets up from the toilet, and parents wrongfully think that the child leaks.
Bedwetting – the sleep thief
Urinary incontinence that occurs at night is referred to as nocturnal enuresis.
Bedwetting is often associated with a history of constipation.
Constipation causes over-filling of the rectum.
At night while the child is lying down, the bulky rectum presses against the bladder.
This irritates the bladder and can cause it to contract and empty.
Your pelvic physiotherapist can evaluate urine leakage in children and treat most bladder conditions by means of education, exercise and bladder habit modification.