Hydrostatic pressure and uniaxial longitudinal strain effects in twisted highly birefringent optical fibers have been investigated from the point of the Marcuse mode-coupling theory. The problem is analyzed in terms of local normal modes of the ideal fiber and in the limit of weak twist, where large linear birefringence dominates over twist effect, and therefore twist coupling between local modes is not effective. The authors present the results of birefringence measurements in highly birefringent bow-tie fibers influenced simultaneously by hydrostatic pressure up to 100 MPa and twisting the result for highly birefringent elliptical-core fibers influenced by uniaxial longitudinal strain up to 4000 (mu) (epsilon) and twisting effect. The birefringence measurement method is based on twist-induced effects and has been successfully applied in a stress environment. The experiment was conducted with a specially designed stress generating device that makes it possible to simultaneously generate various mechanical perturbations such as hydrostatic and radial pressure, axial strain and twist, allowing study of their influence on mode propagation in optical fibers. A comparison with theoretical results as well as with pervious experimental data on stress influence on the beat length parameter in highly birefringent fibers is also provided.