The present study tests the hypothesis that reproduction is correlated with decreased oxidative stress resistance. In numerous species, it has been observed that longevity is negatively correlated with reproduction but the physiological basis of this cost is not well understood. In the present study, female egg production was stimulated by adding live yeast to the surface of Drosophila food. After females were held on yeast-supplemented and unmodified medium for 6-12 days, susceptibility to oxidative stress was measured by exposure to methyl viologen. Added yeast was associated with stress susceptibility of fertile females but not of sterile females. The results of the present study suggest that oxidative stress susceptibility is a physiological cost of reproduction.