Mating causes decreased life span in female Drosophila. Here we report that mifepristone blocked this effect, yielding life span increases up to +68%. Drug was fed to females after mating, in the absence of males, demonstrating function in females. Mifepristone did not increase life span of virgin females or males. Mifepristone reduced progeny production but did not reduce food intake. High-throughput RNA sequencing was used to identify genes up-regulated or down-regulated upon mating, and where the change was reduced by mifepristone. Five candidate positive regulators of life span were identified, including dosage compensation regulator Unr and three X-linked genes: multi sex combs (PcG gene), Dopamine 2-like receptor and CG14215. The 37 candidate negative genes included neuropeptide CNMamide and several involved in protein mobilization and immune response. The results inform the interpretation of experiments involving mifepristone, and implicate steroid hormone signaling in regulating the trade-off between reproduction and life span.