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Why does my 14 year old pee the bed?

Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is a common condition that affects many 14 year olds. Even though it can be frustrating and embarrassing for teens, there are usually underlying causes that can be addressed. Understanding the reasons why a 14 year old might wet the bed can help parents find solutions.

Common Causes of Bedwetting in 14 Year Olds

A small bladder capacity

Some teens simply have a smaller bladder capacity, meaning their bladder can’t hold as much urine through the night. This leads to accidental releases while sleeping. Teens with smaller bladders may need to urinate more frequently throughout the day and night.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes that occur during puberty can influence urination patterns and lead to temporary bedwetting. The hormones norepinephrine and vasopressin help regulate urine production. Fluctuating levels around puberty may disrupt normal function temporarily.

Deep sleep

Some teens sleep more deeply than others. They may not awaken at night when their bladder is full. The body fails to rouse the brain when signaling a need to urinate. This prevents waking up to use the bathroom.


Bedwetting can run in families. Some experts believe that inheriting physical traits like a small bladder capacity can predispose teens to nighttime accidents. If one or both parents wet the bed as a teen, their child is more likely to as well.

Urinary tract infections

UTIs may irritate the bladder and cause urgent, frequent, and uncontrolled urination. If left untreated, UTIs can contribute to bedwetting at night. Teens should be evaluated for a UTI if other causes are ruled out.


Uncontrolled diabetes with high blood sugar causes excess urine production. This leads to accidental wetting when the teen can’t wake at night to urinate. Diabetes testing should be pursued if no other cause of bedwetting is found.

Sleep disorders

Problems like sleep apnea may prevent teens from rousing or waking normally at night. Without treatment for sleep issues, the teen’s body won’t signal a need to wake up and use the bathroom.


When stool builds up in the colon, it can place pressure on the bladder. This may reduce bladder capacity and lead to bedwetting. Treating chronic constipation may help reduce incidences.

Psychological causes

Stress, anxiety, depression, and adjustment issues can influence urination patterns. Teens dealing with major emotional issues or life changes might temporarily wet the bed at night.


Certain prescription drugs like those used to treat ADHD, seizures, or mental health conditions may increase urination and contribute to bedwetting as a side effect.

When to Seek Medical Advice

While bedwetting at age 14 is common, parents should consider seeing a doctor if:

  • Bedwetting occurs frequently (multiple times per week)
  • Bedwetting began again after several dry years
  • Bedwetting is accompanied by pain or foul-smelling urine
  • There are other concerning symptoms like increased thirst/urination

Seeking medical advice can help diagnose any underlying causes like UTIs, diabetes, or constipation. Doctors can also screen for less common issues like neurological disorders if needed.

Steps Parents Can Take at Home

Along with seeking medical advice, parents can try these tips at home:

Encourage bathroom trips before bed

Make sure your teen uses the toilet right before going to sleep each night. Emptying the bladder before bed is less likely to lead to wetting overnight.

Limit fluids before bedtime

Beverages contain liquid that fills the bladder. Avoid drinking anything 2-3 hours before bedtime. However, teens should stay well hydrated during daytime hours.

Invest in a wetness alarm

Wetness alarms clip to pajamas and sound when moisture is detected. This can wake teens to use the bathroom when accidents begin. Alarms can retrain the brain and bladder over time.

Use absorbent bedding

Protect mattresses with a plastic cover and layer absorbent pads or sheets on top. Disposable pads and moisture-wicking sheets help manage nighttime accidents.

Empty the bladder before sleep

If your teen doesn’t wake to use the bathroom overnight, gently wake them for a bathroom trip before you go to bed yourself. This second void before sleep can reduce wetting.

Track bathroom habits

Keep a diary of when accidents happen to spot patterns. Note timing, urine amounts, drinks, and other factors. Bring this to your doctor to identify triggers.

Consider medication

If other approaches don’t work, doctors may prescribe a temporary medication like desmopressin to reduce nighttime urine production.

Reassure your teen

Remind your teen that bedwetting is common and not their fault. Don’t get angry or punish them for nighttime accidents. Support and patience is key!

When to Expect Improvement

Most teens eventually outgrow nighttime wetting on their own by age 16. But improvement depends on the underlying cause:

Cause Improvement Timeframe
Small bladder May resolve in 6-12 months as bladder grows
Hormones Usually resolves within 6-8 months
Sleep issues Can improve within 1-3 months of treatment
Constipation Should improve within 1-2 weeks of treatment
Infection Should improve within 1-2 weeks of antibiotics
Diabetes Should improve within 1-2 weeks of treatment
Medications May improve quickly if medication is changed

Seeking treatment tailored to the cause can help. Be patient, as teen bedwetting often ultimately resolves on its own over time. The key is being supportive and helping your teen manage symptoms in the meantime.

Tips for Coping with Bedwetting

Bedwetting can be stressful for teens. Parents can help their teen cope using these tips:

Emphasize it’s normal

Remind them many teens experience this temporarily. Reassure them it’s not their fault.

Avoid punishment or anger

Yelling, getting upset, or punishing teens for wetting the bed can harm self-esteem. Stay calm and positive.

Talk to a doctor

Seeking medical advice shows you take their problem seriously and want to help find a solution.

Consider therapy

Therapy may help with emotional issues, coping methods, and building self-esteem.

Act early if teased

If your teen is bullied over bedwetting, alert the school immediately to intervene.

Try overnight camps

Specialized camps allow teens to see they aren’t alone. Counselors are trained to help.

Use mattress protection

Encourage your teen to discreetly use plastic sheets or disposable pads on their mattress to preserve privacy if friends sleep over.

Involve your teen in solutions

Collaborate on ways to manage symptoms to help your teen feel in control.


Bedwetting can be troubling for teens, but support and understanding from parents can help. Staying patient, responsive, and proactive will give your 14 year old the tools to eventually outgrow this common issue. Working as a team with your teen and their doctor can get to the root causes of bedwetting and find effective management approaches. While frustrating, try to remember that teenage bedwetting is very normal and temporary with the right strategies in place. Maintain open communication with your child, and they will get through this difficult chapter.