The East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey (EFPTS) is a registry of multiple births in the province of East Flanders, Belgium. Since its start in 1964, over 10,000 twin-pairs have been registered. EFPTS has several unique features: it is population-based and prospective, with the possibility of long-term follow-up; the twins (and higher order multiple births) are recruited at birth; basic perinatal data are recorded; chorion type and zygosity are established; since 1969, placental biopsies have been taken and frozen at –20°C for future research. Since its origin, the EFPTS has included placental data and allows differentiation of three subtypes of monozygotic twins based on the time of the initial zygotic division: the dichorionic–diamniotic pairs (early, with splitting before the fourth day after fertilization), the monochorionic–diamniotic pairs (intermediate, splitting between the fourth- and the seventh-day postfertilization) and the monochorionic–monoamniotic pairs (late, splitting after the eighth day postfertilization). Studies can be initiated taking into account primary biases, those originating ‘in utero’. Such studies could throw new light on the consequences of early embryological events and the gene–environment interactions as far as periconceptional and intrauterine environment are concerned.