Bacteria that have migrated from the intestinal tract to the urinary tract are often to blame for bladder infections. Sexual intercourse is one way that helps the bacteria travel. Urinating before and after intercourse may help to flush the offending bacteria out of the urinary tract before it can get a foothold and multiply.
The urinary bladder can become infected with bacteria that normally inhabit the intestinal tract. Bladder infection is much more common in women than in men because a woman's urethra -- the passage that leads from the bladder to the outside of the body -- is much shorter than a man's, thus allowing bacteria to travel to the bladder more easily. Bladder infections can appear again and again, and the kidneys and other parts of the urinary tract may also become infected.
Practitioners of several alternative therapies frown on conventional medicine's dependence on antibiotics -- drugs that can disrupt the body's normal balance of bacteria and may trigger yeast infections and other conditions. However, the alternative and conventional approaches do share one aspect of bladder infection treatment: They both promote self-help measures, such as drinking a lot of water and cranberry juice and maintaining good toilet hygiene.