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Thread: wetting the bed and genetics ...

  1. #1

    Default wetting the bed and genetics ...

    I don't remember my age when I was wetting the bed. I just remember I was probably in 5th grade sooo 11?. I remember having a sleepover and having to wear diapers and watching Home Alone. So that was 1991 and puts me at 6 years. In 93 we went to Disney World and remember wearing diapers in the hotel room. I was 8. My last memory was probably at age 11? I was on the deck working on my science project when some dude came to talk to me about my bed wedding and how he was going to help.

    So... genetics... I remember my dad telling my mom that he was my age and went through the same problem and mom saying that she never knew that. My thought process behind this... did my dad go through the same experience that I'm going through now? I'm going to guess my child will probably go through this as well.


  2. #2


    There are actually some pretty solid statistics on this subject pointing out a correlation between genetics and bedwetting.

    A Genetic Clue to Bed-Wetting Is Located -

    10 Bedwetting Facts Parents Should Know | Ask Dr. Sears®

    Bed Wetting |

    Statistically and scientifically if the child's parents were bedwetters then the child has a much higher risk of being a bedwetter too. Hopefully you may find the websites above talking about genetics and bedwetting to be helpful.

  3. #3


    Very true that bedwetting is in the family and is passed down from each generation.
    The experience of knowing what it is all about should help the younger generations.
    Especially with better products coming out all the time.

  4. #4


    My youngest has inherited my predilection for wetting the bed and other accidents. We don't belittle or punish her for it, she has pull-ups to wear to bed to help control it. Fortunately for her it isn't every night, but she knows how miserable it is to wake up in wet sheets and pajamas compared to just the wet diaper, she has no problem putting on the pull-ups.

    We've taken the attitude of "it is what it is, not like it's her fault" with this. I think with her knowing that Daddy has trouble as well makes it easier for her. I know finding out how prevalent bladder control problems are in my family has made acceptance of it a bit easier for me.

  5. #5


    My doctor told me "it could take time" for me to stop wetting the bed, well after a few decades the problem still exists, and yeah when I visited a new doctor perhaps 2 years ago he saidmy problem could be due to a weakness in my parents or more distant family.

  6. #6


    Since bed wetting is genetic and in inherited from the previous has to be initiated in a relative at some point. So, how does bed wetting begin in a relative to start its progression in the family line??

  7. #7


    Assuming it is a genetic thing, your children won't necessarily wet the bed. Depending on what different dominant and recessive alleles they get from each parent, it may well not be the case.

    In this next bit, a capital "B" represents a dominant allele, and a lower case "b" represents a recessive allele.

    If the bedwetting allele is recessive (bb) (more likely) and the other parent has both a bedwetting and non-bedwetting allele (Bb), then there is a 50% chance of the child being a bedwetter. If the other parent has no bedwetting alleles (BB), then there is a 0% chance of the child wetting the bed. But, if the other parent is also a bedwetter (bb), then there is a 100% chance of the child being a bedwetter.

    If you need further explanation on this, ask. I would put in grids to show the combinations, but I'm on my iPod, so I can't.

  8. #8


    I know about the dominant trait theory. However, what I am wondering is where does the trait of bed wetting begin in a relative and how does it begin? BAsically what I mean is, it has to start with someone at some point, how does that someone at that some point start bed wetting?

  9. #9


    I think your a little off on that SuperSam. So let say The great Grandparents had bed wetting problems. But There children (Grandparents) had no problem also there kids (Parents) had no problems. But the Children had bed wetting problems. So in this case a problem can skip Generations.

  10. #10


    There have been several studies to my knowledge that suggest a strong genetic link for bedwetting, but it's nowhere near as simple that everything genetic is determined by one dominant / recessive gene.
    As people should know, there are many different root causes for bedwetting, pick three people who do and you might have three different reasons: Not producing the hormone that slows urine production at night, not being woken up by the need to pee signal, having a very small bladder, a combination and more. All those things are governed by different genes (and probably many for each one at that) so we can't say there is one gene that determines it all. If that were the case and a single recessive gene caused the problem, then if both your parents were bedwetters i.e. carrying bb versions, then any child of those parents would be guaranteed to bedwet as well -which we know isn't the case. Add to that there are probably environmental factors at work as well as genetics, all we can say is the greater the number of parents who bedwet, and the longer for, it becomes more likely their children will but is not in any way certain in most cases.

    You could equally have children with the problem, who have parents of which neither bedwet. This is probably a worse scenario as the parents might not understand it can't be controlled or know what they're going through.
    Lastly to those asking how it first appeared if it's passed on by genetics, you have two options:
    1. Random genetic mutations, the way most of our traits came about through gradual evolution. As it poses no great disadvantage as far as survival is concerned, it might not have been weeded out entirely by natural selection. Assuming continence was the initial norm
    2. The second, and I think more likely is that bedwetting was the norm long long ago; and those which the problem descend from ancestors who didn't learn the control fully. Like all other animals, there is reason to assume that when humans first evolved, they relieved themselves as and when they needed - none of this holding it in for a while until a suitable place is found.

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